Character of the area
The Edwardian heart of the area between Spen Road and Arncliffe Road is currently designated a Conservation Area. The area is characterised by a grid pattern of roads containing attractive Arts and Crafts style detached and semi-detached villas in brick with some render and with a full attic storey but in relatively small plots. Some later 20th century infill, with blocks of flats, are of poorer quality but one sympathetic recent development may be seen on Arncliffe Road. The Lawnswood School playing fields to the north of Spen Road, with mature trees along the boundary, provides an open but well defined edge to the area. Also included in the Conservation Area is the parade of shops with flats above on Otley Road with distinctive Dutch gables to the front.
Here, many of the streets have grass verges but those with narrow verges in particular are suffering damage by parked cars. West Park Drive is the main spine road but has no grass verges. Details of the streetscape and building materials are more fully described in the Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan and should be taken into account in any future alterations and extensions or infill development in the area.
The next phase of housing development, which took place immediately before and after the First World War between Otley Road and Welburn Avenue, also shows Arts and Crafts characteristics, and should be considered for inclusion in any future extension of the Conservation Area.
The area south of Welburn Avenue, on land previously in the grounds of Kirkstall Grange, continues the pattern of a mix of two storey detached and semi-detached houses in brick with some render but in varied styles including elements of Art Deco on Northolme Crescent. The few blocks of flats respect the scale of the adjoining houses.
Nearly all the roads here have stone kerbs and grass verges but in some streets the verges are placed at the back of the footways and this encourages their ‘adoption’ and planting up by residents. The main access road is Kepstorn Road and this has a fine collection of mature street trees. Its oblique junction with Harrowby Road with a wider verge and large brick gateposts to fronting properties creates an interesting feature. There are attractive views across the West Park Fields from the end of Kepstorn Road and along Northolme Crescent.
Development also took place on both sides of Otley Road, opposite to and in the grounds of Weetwood House (Mount), initially in the form of detached houses but later with flat blocks. Weetwood House together with its Lodge, both built in stone, remain and are recognised as ‘positive buildings' within the Weetwood Conservation Area. Otley Road is attractively lined by mature trees, including in the central reservation as it approaches Lawnswood roundabout.
Additional shops were built at the junction with Spen Road and originally included a Co-op. Development on both sides of Spen Lane and north of Spen Road started during the inter-war period and again consists of two storey houses, mostly brick and semi-detached. A Congregational Church (United Reformed) was also built on Spen Lane at this time.
At the junction with Butcher Hill there are two parades of shops, one with flats above and one containing the local Co-op. There are pedestrian crossing facilities at this point, the only controlled crossings on Spen Lane. Also at the junction was the West Park Centre (ex-School), built on land originally part of Kirkstall Grange and the gatepiers to the estate entrance from Spen Lane are still to be seen, although damaged. Also built on Kirkstall Grange land off Northolme Avenue is the local primary school, St. Chad’s, having recently relocated here from Otley Road.
Key Positive Characteristics
• The Edwardian Arts and Crafts style architecture of the houses
• Grass verges to many of the streets
• Mature street trees such as those along Kepstorn Road and Otley Road
• Hedgerow planting to many front garden boundaries
• Views across West Park Fields
Extracted from Far Headingley, Weetwood & West Park Neighbourhood Design Statement, Leeds City Council, 2ed, 2014. The whole document is available online at <http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/FH%20NDS%20Adoption%20Version.pdf>
See also, Listed Buildings.
For historic photos, go to Historic West Park.