Plans for a multi-million pound regeneration project which will help transform Leeds’s ‘cultural quarter’ have been given the go ahead.
The 685,000 sq ft Quarry Hill scheme next to West Yorkshire Playhouse, and across the road from the Victoria Gate/John Lewis development, marks the latest significant step in the transformation of that part of the city centre, which also houses the BBC’s Yorkshire headquarters, Leeds College of Music, Phoenix Dance and Northern Ballet.
Speaking before Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel yesterday, Myles Hartley, managing director of Caddick Developments, said work could now start on the site within months.
“Today is an important milestone in the evolution of Quarry Hill,” he said.
“Our aim is to provide a special and exciting destination after years of inactivity at that site,” he said.
The panel was told that the site would be developed in up to six phases.
However, the pace of work depends on the firm signing up occupiers for the various elements.
The outline planning consent is for a mixed-use development including offices, flats, a multi-storey car park and leisure.
A multi-storey car park will only be finalised if the 800 spaces at the Victoria Gate car park across the road prove insufficient for demand. Usage there will be monitored for a year before any decision is made for Quarry Hill.
Mr Hartley said the firm is “in discussions” with two educational establishments. If they sign up, it would “act as a catalyst for further development, we feel sure about that,” he said.
The scheme – which would neighbour the Quarry House building popularly known as ‘The Kremlin’ – was approved in principle in 2005 but was shelved during the recession.
Robin Hawkes, executive director of West Yorkshire Playhouse, said: “The Playhouse is enthusiastic about the potential for the Caddick scheme to help bring revitalisation to the Quarry Hill area, and complement Victoria Gate in establishing the eastward extension of Leeds city-centre. We look forward to working with them as our new neighbours.”