Holt Park

Coordinates: 53°51′29″N 1°36′04″W / 53.858°N 1.601°W / 53.858; -1.601

Holt Park is a medium-sized low-rise 1970s housing estate in the northwest suburbs of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) from Leeds city centre situated between Tinshill, Cookridge and Adel, and is at the edge of the Leeds urban fringe, bordering the green belt which makes up two thirds of the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds. The nearby Tinshill BT Tower dominates the skyline.

Holt Park is in the Leeds North West constituency; its Member of Parliament is Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland, who won the seat from Labour in the 2005 General Election. The Liberal Democrat constituency office is in Holt Park District Centre. It is part of the Adel and Wharfedale Ward of the Leeds City Council.


One half of Holt Park was built as a council estate; the other half as private housing, built to typical British 1970s design by the well-known property developer Norman C. Ashton Limited (similar/identical architecture and build can be found in other areas in Leeds and West Yorkshire, including Otley, Ainsty in Wetherby, Ferrybridge and Knottingley), comprising a mixture of detached and semi-detached housing, and several apartments. This came about after an agreement between Norman Ashton (an experienced developer) and Leeds City Council to create a new 'village' within the city, which would include a mixture of private and council housing stock with shops and leisure facilities.

The farm was sold to the developers by The Co-op, who purchased the land in 1920 as one of five dairy farms in Leeds.[1] The earlier housing was completed before the farm was closed, and the farmer took advantage of this delivering milk to all the new residents in the early years.[1]

The council housing is a mixture of two-story terraced houses, end-bungalows and flats with bedroom numbers ranging from one to four. These are set in cul-de-sacs within, off and on the periphery of Holtdale Approach, connected by various alleyways and footpaths. Some of this stock is now privately owned, but much of it remains under the control of the Council. Several blocks of flats, set over three storeys, also exist, albeit owned/managed by a housing association. At the same time two schools (Holt Park Middle School and Ralph Thoresby High School), a sports centre (Holt Park Leisure Centre), a library (Holt Park Library, which was annexed to and therefore part of the High School) were built[2] and a shopping centre were built.

Holt Park Leisure Centre was previously found within the shopping complex until it was closed in late 2012 to make way for the Holt Park Active sports centre (located next to the newer Ralph Thoresby High School). The previous entrance was blocked in 2014 prior to the centre's demolition with Holt Park Active opening in autumn 2014.

The area remains collectively known as Holt Park District Centre.

Ralph Thoresby School

Ralph Thoresby School, following the rebuild.

The original Ralph Thoresby buildings were built around 1975 and remained the school's premises until September 2007. It was strategically built as part of the district centre and so the leisure centre and the library were fully accessible to the public and part of the school's premises.

Holt Park Library and Ralph Thoresby High School were rebuilt on a new site off Holtdale Approach (south), with the opening in September 2007. This is one in a long line of North Leeds secondary schools to be rebuilt, following Lawnswood School and Roundhay School to name but two. The old school buildings were demolished and the area cleared, although what will replace the large empty spaces and how the Centre will be rejuvenated remain unclear.

Holt Park District Centre

The Interior of the Holt Park District Centre.

The shopping centre began to decrease in character from the late 1990s, with many businesses occupying the units either closing or relocating. The main foyer at the entrance to the shopping centre was also used for jumble sales on Saturday mornings. Reversing the trend of the decrease of character could be difficult, due primarily to the fact that the Asda supermarket dominates the shopping centre as a large commercial retail outlet and has extended into multiple units, not only supplying goods and services independent retailers once provided (for example, the Asda supermarket has its own pharmacy, clothing department and a separate optician) but also reducing the number of units available.

This is in contrast to how Asda was limited to its original unit and how the shopping centre was full of business, with all other units in the shopping centre being occupied. Previous businesses that once operated included Barclays Bank , Casavanty, United Newsagents, Going Places (a travel agent); Weigh 'n' Save (selling pick and mix confectionery); Harveys Pet Store; Peebles (later renamed 'Hangers Unit 12'- a clothes shop); and China Rose (a Chinese restaurant). In 2003, a business opened that served as a computer/internet hub (which later closed; the unit having since been taken over by the local MP's office). Holt Park Fisheries, the popular local fish and chip shop, closed in 2012 after nearly 40 years of business. There was also a bookmakers (once independent but lattery a Coral). The longest-operating / original businesses are a café. Two charity shops opened in the early 2000s. A dental practice was established in 2007. The Asda store, which underwent a small extension and revised floor layout in late 2004, therefore remains the most significant and dominant retail unit at the Centre. Although it is in Holt Park itself, it is (mistakenly) named and referred to by Asda as 'Asda at Adel'.

Adjacent to the shopping centre is High Farm, the farm which the estate was originally built on and around, and later converted into a public house. The building itself is known to date back to the 17th century and the interior of the pub still contains period features such the original oak beams.[3] The shopping centre also contains the area's bus 'station'. In many ways the district centre is similar (although smaller) to many new town shopping centres such as those in Newton Aycliffe and Cumbernauld.

Public houses

The High Farm public house
The Eyrie public house

There is now just one public house in Holt Park, The High Farm, adjacent to the shopping centre, is situated in the old farm buildings and won awards when converted into a pub in the 1970s. The High Farm pub was formerly tied to Hull based brewery North Country Breweries and latterly the Mansfield Brewery. It has a function room in an original barn with beams dating back to the 16th century.

Farther away, in a wooded area at the edge of the local authority part of the estate, was the 1970s-built pub, The Eyrie which was tied to Tetley's Brewery, which closed in February 2013.

Local Health Services

High Field Surgery from Holtdale Approach.

Lawrence Gaunt Opticians operated in the area from 1978 until 2011, when it relocated from Holt Park District Centre to the newly built Ireland Wood Medical Practice. It was previously located at the last unit in the shopping centre; however as units became vacant, the Lawrence Gaunt Opticians moved into the main shopping precinct. In 2007, Holt Park Dental Practice opened in the unit originally occupied by Lawrence Gaunt Opticians. Upon the latter's departure from Holt Park, Asda opened its own opticians in the shopping centre.

Two healthcare practices operate in Holt Park, the original and oldest being Holt Park Doctor's Surgery (also known as 'Holt Park Health Centre'). This is located at the main entrance to the shopping centre. However the most prominent practice is High Field Surgery, which was built in 1989,[4] and is at the top of the shopping centre car park. Initially, the shopping centre housed a pharmacy typically used for the collection of prescriptions from the nearby surgery. This started off as 'Bloom's the Chemist' and was in the unit directly next to the Asda supermarket. In 1999, it became Moss Pharmacy and continued the same unit until 2004, when it moved into a smaller unit (formerly occupied by Fullers greengrocers) further down the shopping precinct due to the refurbishment and expansion of Asda. It subsequently became a Lloyd's Pharmacy, and in 2009, it was re-opened as part of the Boots chain. In 2013 a chemist named Cohens Chemist opened, leading to the closure of Boots. The Cohens Chemist was built as a side extension to Highfield Surgery. Around the same time, Asda opened its own in-store pharmacy.


Holt Park has bus services operated by First Leeds (formerly Yorkshire Rider), particularly Route 1 "Brown Line" which runs from the shopping centre, through Weetwood, Headingley, Leeds University, Leeds city centre and terminates in the South Leeds area of Beeston. The original terminus of the Route 1 in Holt Park was the roundel where Heathfield meets Holt Lane. The first public-service bendy-buses in the United Kingdom were pioneered on this route in 1999. By 2009, withdrawals had begun on these vehicles, but they are still in service as of the end of 2015.

The Route 6 "Sky Blue Line" (formerly the 96 "Sky Line") bus service runs through Cookridge, Tinshill, Weetwood, Headingley and Leeds University to Leeds City bus station. The original 96 route ran to and terminated at Cookridge. In the late 2000s, the route was extended to Holt Park via Cookridge, before being renumbered as the number 6 in 2009.

Route 940 (operated by Connexionsbuses) also runs from the shopping centre to Otley, via Bramhope and Pool-in-Wharfedale.

Routes 31 and 32 run to Horsforth via Cookridge. Previously, Route 940 was operated by TLC Travel in Bradford.

The nearest railway station to Holt Park is Horsforth situated on the Leeds-Harrogate-York Line.

Location grid



External links

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