Five huge towers with nearly 700 flats planned for former British Gas site

Plans to build hundreds of new flats on a site near Regent Street are set to go before Leeds City Council planning chiefs next week.

By Richard Beecham
Sunday, 4th July 2021, 4:45 am

The plans, put forward by developers Ultra Assets Holdings Ltd, include the construction of five buildings, ranging between 13 and 31 storeys, and consisting of 678 apartments for the site off Bridge Street, Gower Street and New York Road.

The site was historically occupied by British Gas, but was vacant for a long time.

Its neighbouring 10-storey tower has already been converted into a Hilton Hotel in 2019.

The site, just behind Regent Street, in Leeds city centre (photo: Google).

According to a report by Leeds City Council officers, the plans include 408 one-bed, 238 two-bed, and 32 three-bed flats. Around 1,600 square metres of commercial and retail space would be included on the ground floor, potentially for new shops and restaurants.

A 288-space car park would be built for residents, with access along Gower Street, while a new public walkway space would link Bridge Street and Regent Street.

The flats would all be build-to-rent.

Council policy states new developments built in this part of Leeds should contain at least seven per cent affordable homes – meaning 47 of the flats in this development should cost at least 20 per cent below equivalent market rents in the local area.

In lieu of this, the developers have offered a “commuted sum” of £3,101,783, for the council to spend on affordable housing elsewhere. A report by Leeds City Council officers has suggested plans panel members accept this sum.

It added that a residential travel fund contribution of £169,669 would also be needed from the developers, as well as a fee of £259,000 to improve pedestrian facilities in nearby Mabgate.

The report concluded: “The proposed residential-led development would involve major investment and regeneration of this underused City Centre, sustainably-located, brownfield site.

“It would involve an efficient use of land delivering 678 residential dwellings which would benefit from good levels of amenity, meet and exceed adopted space standards and provide accessible homes. It would also provide a significant contribution to the provision of off-site affordable housing.

“The development would provide high quality, contemporary and distinctive architecture which would animate and improve the appearance of the emerging cityscape and reinforce and activate the local townscape.”

Members of Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel will meet to discuss the application on Thursday, July 8.