College site to be demolished to make way for student accommodation in Leeds city centre

A college building is going to be demolished to make way for accommodation that would house 465 students over 20 storeys in Leeds city centre.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 12:35 pm
The Woodhouse Lane campus site.

Plans have been submitted to Leeds City Council by Metropolitan and District Securities Ltd, a development company, which is set to take over the Leeds College Of Technology on Cookridge Street.

Plan details

It is proposed to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new 20 storey building that fronts Woodhouse Lane. It will house 465 bed rooms in total. There will be 385 bedrooms in four, five, six, seven and eight bedroom clusters and 80 studio type flats.

The reception area will be staffed 24 hour to enhance security/ management of the development and will be provided with CCTV.

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There will be part eight and part six storey linked elements to the west of the site while the main tower will sit back from a plinth. north, east and southern elevations. New courtyards fronting Cookridge Street and Vernon Street will be created while footpaths around the site could be repaved.

Potential opportunities for street trees and public realm works along Woodhouse Lane and Cookridge Street, together with improvements to Vernon Street, are being explored say Leeds based architects and landscape firm, DLA Design, which has drawn up documents that form part of planning documents put forward this week.

They follow a pre-application hearing in February where Metropolitan and District Securities Ltd revealed their proposal ideas to council planners before putting in the formal application.

It had been stated at that meeting that there would be 379 bedrooms, which has since been increased, and two commercial units - which according to the most recent submission has been increased to four.

A spokesperson for DLA said: "The site is in a highly sustainable location and is within short walking distance of a number of Leeds universities. The proposed development will deliver purpose-built student accommodation in an ideal location, taking pressure off the need for students to rent private housing.

"The design of the scheme is considered to be of a high quality and will provide a more elegant, attractive building for the site than the current Technology Campus, whilst also improving the quality of the public realm."

College history

The college was built as the Branch College of Engineering and Science in two phases in the late 1950 and 1960s and was renamed a few years later in 1967 as Kitson College in honour of James Kitson, Baron Airedale.

In 2009 the college merged with Thomas Danby College and Park Lane College to form Leeds City College and is the third largest further education college in the UK.

However the Woodhouse Lane/Cookridge Street campus will become surplus to college requirements when Leeds City College opens its new £60m Quarry Hill campus in September this year for the start of the new term.

Quarry Hill campus

It will house two of the college’s biggest schools; the School of Creative Arts and the School of Social Science and a total of 3,000 students. Over the next few months, while the building is being fully fitted out, a phased move-in is planned for over summer, from the current Park Lane and Technology campuses.

Quarry Hill will be the college’s second major new city centre site, after its Printworks Campus opened in 2013.

Quarry Hill has been designed by Ellis Williams Architects, and the development is located on Eastgate and is being built by Wates Construction North East & Yorkshire. The project has received £33.4m funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.