Leeds: Historic college building gets a new lease of life - but it’s bye bye police depot

St Michael's Catholic college building in St.Johns Road, Little Woodhouse, Leeds
St Michael's Catholic college building in St.Johns Road, Little Woodhouse, Leeds
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A FORMER police depot in Leeds is to be demolished to make way for hundreds of students bedsits and keyworker homes, however a historic college building which forms part of the same regeneration project is to be spared from the bulldozers.

Detailed plans for the regeneration of the former police depot and St Michael’s College, in Woodhouse, have been unveiled.

The plans are for three new buildings comprising 320 student flats, 262 studio apartments targeted at keyworkers and 61 ‘open market’ apartments on land at St John’s Road and Belle Vue Road.

As part of the proposals, all existing buildings would be demolished except the original 1908 element of the college, which would be retained and refurbished to form part of the proposed keyworker accommodation. The site, on the market since 2010, was previously the subject of a failed bid to build an asylum seeker institution.

Feedback from locals to the new scheme has been broadly positive.

A report to be presented to Leeds council planning chiefs today, referring to local feedback, says: “Redeveloping such a large site in the heart of the area can only be good but it needs to be done creatively, considering the community aspect in greater detail”.

The report adds it is recognised that the site is “a prime site for development”, however the scale of student accommodation is a worry.

“Students can add to the vibrancy of an area, [but locals] are concerned regarding the additional student accommodation proposed,” the report says.

“Those students using the area to access the city and universities already have a negative effect on the quality of life through noise and disruption. Additional undergraduates would create similar problems for nearby long-term residents.”

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