Old pubs opposite Leeds Town Hall to become student flats

Plans to convert two famous old Leeds pubs into student accommodation have been backed by councillors.

By Daniel Sheridan
Saturday, 21st May 2022, 4:45 am

Developers have bought the old Victoria and Commercial Hotel, as well as the former Shenanigans boozer nextdoor to it, on Great George Street in the city centre.

The pubs, both of which have called last orders and shut for good, are opposite Leeds Town Hall in listed buildings.

Irish-themed bar Shenanigans itself, which closed after the pandemic, was once a Masonic Hall in its previous life.

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Developers have bought the old Victoria and Commercial Hotel, as well as the former Shenanigans boozer nextdoor to it, on Great George Street in the city centre.

Now, the pubs will be converted into a 67-flat hall for students, with a purpose built seven storey block to be built to the rear of the properties to accommodate the rooms.

But the ground floor of the Victoria and Commercial will be revived as a public house, under the scheme.

Historic England had given the proposals their blessing but the Leeds Civic Trust and the Little London and Woodhouse Neighbourhood Plan Forum had both objected.

The trust had complained the proposed design of the structure was “overbearing” , while the forum claimed another influx of students would “skew” the city centre’s demographics.

However, no-one opposing the scheme attended Thursday’s planning meeting, where the scheme was given the green light.

Councillors approved the plans unanimously.