A £40M redevelopment which will transform the sites of a disused Leeds high school building and a former police depot into new homes has been given the go-ahead by planning chiefs at the second attempt.
The scheme for the former St Michael’s college building and the old police depot site in Little Woodhouse will comprise of three new buildings, a student block with 320 bedsits, 259 flats for ‘key workers’ and 61 open market apartments on land at St John’s Road and Belle Vue Road.
All existing buildings on the two sites will be demolished except the original 1908 element of the college, which will be refurbished to form part of the development.
The YEP reported in May that planning chiefs had sent the developers of the scheme back to the drawing board – branding parts of their blueprint unfit for 21st century living.
Councillors had objected to the tiny size of the ‘key worker’ apartments, the design of which was slammed as “brutal” and like “prison cells”.
The developer has now come back with an amended design, with some of the smallest studio flats increased in size.
The applicant also increased their community contributions package by £150,000, bringing it to £170,000 in total. This will help fund green space improvements in the Hyde Park areas.
Councillor Jim McKenna, chair of the City Centre Plans Panel, said: “We’re pleased that the developer has taken on board the comments we’ve made during the planning process. Today’s application is much improved and more acceptable. “It’s good to see this vacant brownfield site being revitalised with a positive future after suffering from anti-social behaviour.”
Councillor Peter Gruen, the council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and planning, added: “It’s welcoming to see a range of housing development coming forward to meet the growing demand in our city, particularly significant investment targeting affordable, quality homes for key workers. The investment in construction and support offered for local employment during the works is also welcome.”