Kirkstall Island Farm: 2018

Leeds Beckett, Feed Leeds, KVP, KVDT and other interested parties have been working on options for the future of the council agricultural land – in keeping with all of the above.

The following is a concept scheme / discussion document developed by Leeds Beckett staff and researchers as their contribution. This flows directly from the Arup report, to help develop physical plans for this area, as a combined Community Farm, Community Park and Nature Reserve. It’s immediate purpose has been to engage with the simultaneous threat and opportunity presented by FAS2 – which was always likely to be game-changing. FAS2 might potentially have done away with all the land (to make flood lagoons), or saved most of it and provided seed corn for necessary infrastructure – or anything between. It now emerges that, happily, the farm should escape major flood works, (the flood risk should in fact drop over time as natural flood measures upstream come into effect), but the opportunity to benefit from FAS2 investment remains. The next design therefore includes fewer new channels, because water retention is no longer a priority. Channels do remain a good way to provide security with enhanced wildlife and amenity, so we have retained one in our proposals – with lifting bridges to provide controlled access, along with two of the proposed river bridges and the associated new paths. The revised scheme also reinstates a major role for Leeds 2023 in the form of a performance space well away from housing, with the whole of the park area being a legacy resource for the 2023 Festival.

The scheme is subject to permissions from LCC, major funding, and local buy-in. The group taking these ideas forward plan to consult with the local community as soon as they have worked out what is feasible. They can be contacted by emailing tom@urbal.tv

Download the Concept Proposal here

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