The vision to breathe new life into Leeds’s cultural quarter

EVOLUTION: An architect's design for the Quarry Hill, Leeds site. DESIGN: DLG Architects
EVOLUTION: An architect's design for the Quarry Hill, Leeds site. DESIGN: DLG Architects
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This is the vision for a huge new development which it is hoped will breathe new life into Leeds city centre’s cultural quarter.

The proposal is for Quarry Hill, on a car park and additional land next to West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds College of Music and the Northern Ballet/Phoenix Dance HQ, and a stone’s throw from the Victoria Gate scheme.

The blueprint, which includes offices, leisure, a college, hundreds of flats and a multi storey car park was first mooted a decade ago but was shelved due to delays in talk and then the onset of the recession. Earlier this year, developers presented initial details of a renewed application to Leeds City Council planning chiefs, but were told to come back with a bolder, more imaginative design.

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A report to be presented to the City Plans Panel at Leeds Civic Hall this Thursday recommends the renewed scheme for approval. It says: “The proposals will regenerate a key city centre site and contribute to its life, vitality and economic prosperity. The scheme would potentially provide high quality and well-designed buildings which relate well to each other and the surrounding developments.”

Referring to a pre-application presentation earlier this year, the report said “very little had changed about the physical form of the development from the originally submitted scheme” 10 years ago.

Councillor Neil Walshaw, who sits on the City Plans Panel, had been one of the most vocal critics of the earlier design. Speaking of the new application, he said: “We challenged them to evolve and I think they have. It’s a really important site. We want to see more ‘wow’.”


initial plans for 244 apartments at Granary Wharf will also be unveiled to decision-makers for the first time later this week.

The proposal will form part of the wider Holbeck Urban Village vision.

The site, between Leeds and Liverpool Canal and Water Lane and next to the Grade II listed Tower Works, is currently being used as a car park.

The scheme would mean the loss of 100 car parking spaces used primarily by commuters.

A report to the City Plans Panel says: “The proposed range of uses would contribute to the ongoing creation of a vibrant and lively community in Holbeck Urban Village.”