£177m Whitehall Road development gets support from Leeds Civic Trust

Plans to breathe new life into a site on the outskirts of Leeds City Centre have been given support by an influential group of Leeds building campaigners.

By Richard Beecham
Thursday, 18th February 2021, 5:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th February 2021, 5:54 pm

Leeds City Council decision-makers are set to meet next week to rule on whether to approve plans to build nearly 800 new flats on a former industrial site in Whitehall Road.

A document from the authority claims the total value of the finished scheme could be as much as £177m and recommends the scheme be approved – a sentiment echoed by the Leeds Civic Trust.

In a letter sent to Leeds City Council planners on behalf of the committee stated that the plans would make best use of an “awkwardly” shaped site.

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An artist's impression of the plans.

However, it warned that future schemes like this would need to include larger flats, as more families may want to move into the city centre in the future.

The letter, published on Leeds City Council’s website, stated: “(We) are pleased that the above application has maintained the high standard we had hoped for.

“We feel this is a comprehensively planned application, making maximum use of an awkward site, but also enhancing the public realm within and outside the immediate development.

“We do have reservations about the proposed size ratio of units overall, and would wish to see an increase in the number of three (or larger) bedded units for families; we are of the opinion that as the development, and hence the residents, matures, families will increasingly wish to remain in the city centre, rather than move to those larger houses invariably in the suburbs, involving the pollution and energy use of the commute.”

The application for the large, concreted site on the corner of Whitehall Road and Globe Road includes eight buildings, between eight and 23 storeys in height, while nearly half of the site would be publicly-accessible open space.

In total, the plans will comprise 783 flats, as well as commercial units. More than half of the apartments would include balconies, while 12 would even include “private garden spaces”.

“We note that the larger three-bed units which are provided will not be in the tallest blocks, and will all have balconies, but in line with making Leeds a Child-Friendly city, are concerned that play spaces are in public realm and do not appear to be readily overlooked from parents’ units. We hope that the long-term management plan for the development will address these problems.

“To summarise, the Committee supports this application, but wishes the developer would consider the needs of the growing families.”

The plans are set to go before Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel on Thursday, February 25.