New lease of life for old Leeds police headquarters

Brotherton House.
Brotherton House.
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A LANDMARK former police building in Leeds built in the 1950s is to be turned into dozens of city centre apartments.

The YEP revealed a year ago that Brotherton House – an imposing building which at one time took all 999 calls in the Leeds area and was the Leeds city police force HQ – had been sold to a property firm.

Based at the junction of Westgate with St Paul’s Street, the building has 56,000 sq ft of office space and, until two years ago, had been used by West Yorkshire Police as an administrative base.

Next week, city planning chiefs will consider initial plans to turn the six-storey building into 63 apartments, making it another piece in the city centre regeneration jigsaw.

A pre-application report to be presented to the City Plans Panel says the development involves a “major investment in a significant site in the office quarter”.

A full planning application is expected next year.

Initial proposals suggest any development would include a mix of studio flats and one and two bedroom dwellings. Two new levels would be added at roof level.

As previously reported in the YEP, the building, with its twin circular staircase towers, was acquired from West Yorkshire Police by property company and developer J Pullan & Sons for an undisclosed sum in a deal brokered by the Leeds office of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Mark Pullan, the managing director of Pullan’s, said at the time that Brotherton House had strong architectural features, and its boilers, which dated from the 1950s, were still working.

He said he hoped to install more “green” energy systems in the building, which might include rainwater harvesting. In total, 12 bids from interested parties were received for the building.

The building started life in 1956 as the HQ for Leeds chemicals and dyestuffs firm Brotherton and Co. Both Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds and the LGI Brotherton Wing are named after the firm.

It became the Leeds police HQ from 1965 to 1976, when the force moved to the purpose-built Millgarth police station and retained Brotherton House for administrative offices.

In a twist of fate, Millgarth station is now set to be demolished and replaced with a multi-storey car park as part of the Victoria Gate development.

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