Leeds hotel redevelopment details revealed

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New details have been revealed about plans for the redevelopment of a well-known Leeds city centre hotel site.

As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the overhaul proposed for the former Merrion Hotel includes the opening of a ground-floor restaurant by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White.

Now planning documents submitted to Leeds City Council show that the transformation of the building into a 134-bedroom Ibis Styles hotel would also include:

* A two-storey extension to the old hotel site, which closed in the summer of 2012;

* The demolition of the vacant Octagon bar, formerly the General Wade pub;

* Potential for existing retail units on Wade Lane to be used as restaurants or bars;

* Public realm and highway improvements, including an outdoor seating area for Marco’s.

A planning statement drawn up on behalf of site owner Town Centre Securities says that, if the scheme gets the green light from the council, then “the visitor experience in this part of Leeds will be significantly enhanced”.

Talking about the proposed demolition of the Octagon building, the statement says it has “remained empty for many years due to its configuration and the small windows which do not make it attractive to retail operators”.

It also says that existing Wade Lane food tenants Fuji Hiro and My Thai are keen to remain in place to benefit from the development.

Much of the area around the old Merrion Hotel site and neighbouring Merrion shopping centre has been revitalised by the opening of the nearby First Direct Arena.

The proposed Marco’s restaurant would be the first to be opened by Marco Pierre White in his home city of Leeds.