New plans revealed for abandoned Leeds city centre hotel site

PIC: James Hardisty
PIC: James Hardisty
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A major city centre development that came to an abrupt halt two years ago is set to get off the ground again.

Developers Vita Leeds 2, part of the Select Property Group which has projects across the world, have revealed a new set of plans for the area that had been earmarked for a Hilton hotel in the flagship arena quarter of Leeds - before the contractor went into administration, leaving a half started concrete shell on site.

The new set of proposals, being put to the City Plans panel on Thursday before a formal application is submitted, will see the original 14 storey shell increased to 16 floors to cater for 312 student studio apartments with amenity, retail and office units on the lower levels.

Select acquired the site, at Portland Crescent and Woodhouse Lane, after stakeholders involved in the Hilton plan failed to find a financial solution which would still enable the hotel to go ahead.

Should planning permission eventually be granted the Select Group says it will start work on site immediately. It follows the completion of the St Alban’s Place student complex.

The latest development has been welcomed by those who want to see action on the site and feel it may have a positive impact on the rental market as a whole.

Coun Neil Walshaw, who represents Headingley and site on the City Plans panel said: “There has been a lot of frustration and who would have thought that the Hilton Group could have got their contractors so wrong? Talk about unexpected.

“It is potentially very interesting and I am pleased to see it coming forward. It is not a bad location for that kind of thing but we will have to see what comes forward and this is an opportunity for us to have our say.

“Speaking as a Headingley councillor, the more purpose built student accommodation we have the more it frees up private housing.”

Planning permission for a part six storey and 14 storey 246 bed hotel was granted in 2009 and an extension to the permission was granted in 2011.

The following year permission was granted for amendments including a roof-top bar and 206 rooms.

Works started towards the end of 2013 with GB Building Solutions but ground to a halt in March 2015 when the building contractor and its parent company went into administration.