Leeds Sees Double Development Plan

Leeds is something of a development paradise at the moment, with countless developers unveiling grand plans to transform some of its lesser developed areas. Spurred on by a favourable planning environment and strong support from Leeds City Council, there are significant plans afoot for a raft of new housing across the city in order to meet demand.

Now, two new development proposals have arisen which would create living space for well over a thousand people within the city centre.

The first comes from the Unite Group. The student housing company have secured planning consent for a new 27-storey development besides the First Direct Arena that will ultimately accommodate a total of 928 students in a prime location, mere moments from the city centres most popular attractions.

Leeds City Council’s city planning panel granted the developers permission on the 31st of May, in line with recommendations from the planning officer. The site, to be built on Merrion Way and replacing the Podium Buildings, will join the cancelled Hilton Hotel project, located a stone’s throw away, in becoming student housing.

Unite’s proposals would mean the demolition of the former casino and the pub currently on the land. In their place will be two towers, measuring 15 and 27-storeys respectively, providing space for 928 students with a mixture of individual and ‘cluster’ flats. Alongside this will be a total of 14,400 sq. ft of amenity space, bicycle storage, parking at Arena Point and potentially space for the Stick or Twist pub to be incorporated into the new buildings.

In a statement, Unites Students said: "We are delighted to have been granted approval at committee by Leeds City Council for our Merrion Way property. Leeds is a thriving city with excellent universities and we look forward to providing a new home for circa 900 students in 2020."

The student housing proposal is joined by a planning application to create 143 apartments at the junction of Burley Road, Cardigan Road and Willow Road in Burley.

Located not far from the city centre, the planning application requires land which used to house the Burley Liberal Club and a bank, before they were demolished. Should the green light be given, the scheme will be delivered by Leeds-based firm Broadley Group, with design work by Brewster Bye Architects.

A mixture of one, two and three-bed apartments would be spread across a pair of five-storey buildings, stepped in height to match the natural flow of the land around the site, and set in landscaped grounds connected to Burley Park via a footpath.

Commenting on the plans, Broadley development director Paul Manku said: “This site is in a vibrant part of Leeds, just minutes away from the city centre and a two-minute walk from Cardigan Fields with its cinema, bowling, gym, restaurants and entertainment.

“There are also lots of popular independent restaurants and shops nearby, as well as an established residential community that includes students, professionals and families.

“There’s no doubt this development would complement all this and make a valuable contribution to the local area, as well as creating a popular place to live whilst giving an empty site a new lease of life for generations to come.”