All change for derelict Yorkshire Chemicals site as new owners reveal plans for data centre

Site of proposed data centre in red

Proposals to build a data centre on the derelict Yorkshire Chemicals site south of Leeds city centre are going before councillors next week.

Developers Yorkshire Design Group see the 6,570 sq m data centre as the first phase of development of the 3.14 hectare site that lies to the east and west of Black Bull street, next to New Dock (formerly Clarence Dock).

They say the data centre will be “a catalyst for the creation of a new hub for high technology digital and creative media on the city’s South Bank”, says a Leeds City Council report on the proposals.

The plans are going to be discussed by councillors next Thursday (30th August), but as it’s a pre-application presentation, no decisions will be taken.

Assurances sought over “green connections”

The Council has been in discussions over the future of the site since 2005 following the closure and subsequent demolition of Yorkshire Chemicals. Former owners, the Gladedale Group, withdrew an application to build housing there as recently as June this year.

“This site is particularly important in forming east-west connections between the City Centre Park and New Dock, and officers have stressed to the new landowner the importance of an indicative masterplan for the rest of the site to give assurance that new green enhancements and connections will be made, on an interim and long term phased basis to achieve this synergy with adjoining sites,” the report says.

To the north and south of the 32m-high data centre building would be 7.5m landscaped pedestrian and cycle routes, which would form the first contributions towards  a green network of routes between the future City Centre Park and New Dock, it adds.

“The proposal seeks to take advantage of the industrial scale energy generating capacity which used to support the former manufacturing uses in the area and remains, and the site’s close proximity to the core fibre optic network and internet exchange hub which provides a direct link to Europe and America…

“The applicant states that the sites close to the data centre will be very attractive to businesses looking for increased data connectivity,” the report says.

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