300-plus flats on Quarry Hill set to go before Leeds planning chiefs

Leeds City Council planning chiefs are set to meet to decide whether to allow hundreds of flats to be built on a site in Quarry Hill.

By Richard Beecham
Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 3:22 pm

A reserved matters application, which presents previously approved plans in more detail to decision-makers, outlines plans for two blocks containing 331 build to rent properties.

The blocks, set to be seven and thirteen storeys in height, are part of the larger so-called “SoYo” project, which aims to help regenerate the area between Quarry House and Leeds City College’s new Quarry Hill campus.

According to a report, the buildings would also include a gym, amenity areas, a rooftop terrace, and below-ground car parking. Of the 331 flats, eight would be studios, 186 one-beds, 121 two-beds and 16 three-beds.

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An artist's impression of what the site may look like.(Pic: Quarry Hill Developments Ltd)

It would be the first time people have been housed in the area since the famous Quarry Hill Flats social housing scheme was demolished in 1978.

According to a report by Leeds City Council planning officers, the developers had claimed the scheme could not support on-site affordable units. However, the district valuer has since concluded the scheme can in fact support 27 on-site affordable units, based on discounted rental rates.

Property specialists have claimed construction costs are expected to hit around £57.8m for developers Quarry Hill Developments Ltd, but concluded that even with discounted rents included, the scheme would have a net realisation value of £74.2m.

For this reason, council planning officers have advised panel members to approve the scheme in principle, subject to officers agreeing with the developer that 27 affordable units should be included in the final build.

The Leeds City Council report concludes: “The proposals are regarded as appropriate in respect of the appearance, scale and landscaping elements for which the applicant is seeking reserved matters approval.

“The resulting scheme would be a high quality, appropriate development. This would bring much needed housing, alongside commercial uses, adding to the vibrancy and vitality of the area.

“Overall, it serves as a further important step in bringing the wider SoYo development to fruition. Therefore the proposal is considered to be in overall accordance with the Development Plan.”

The SoYo area already includes outline approval for around 705 residential units, 10,000 square metres of office space, cafes, restaurants, a medical centre and 6,000 square metres of “educational use”.