Covenant could scupper bid to redevelop Leeds site

Covenant could scupper bid to redevelop Leeds site

And a group of local families have pledged to stump up the cost of enforcing the 148yearold restrictive covenant which could run to more than 30,000.

Commercial estate agent and Chapel Allerton shop owner Peter Davies described his discovery as a loaded gun for Morrisons application to build a new store on the vacant site of Allerton House, behind Yorkshire Bank.

A restrictive covenant restricts or prohibits building or certain uses of a piece of land. The document he has uncovered, which dates back to 1865, states that nothing can be built on the site within 60ft of what is now Harrogate Road.

If upheld, the supermarkets plan to build at the front of the site would be thwarted.

Mr Davies, who works at Stoneacre Properties in Leeds, said: Theres a group of people who have got together who would like to enforce this covenant. They feel theres a covenant put on a plot of land for the good of the people of the area therefore noone has the right to change that. Because its a civil matter it means this group of people have got to find the money and they have shown that they can.

Mr Davies said the cost could be in the region of 20,000 to 30,000 upwards.

He said: If someone intends to build a property and knows they are going to be held up or hampered or dragged through the courts for a number of years, they might think twice before proceeding.

Morrisons has submitted two applications to Leeds City Council, one to build at the front of the site, one to build at the rear. Leeds City Council favours proposals to build at the front but most traders and residents would prefer the store at the back, with parking at the front, believing this layout would encourage shoppers to also visit the nearby independent retailers.

A spokesperson for Morrisons said they would look into the claims.

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