Praise for hotel complex plans
Developers have been praised for plans to transform part of Leeds' northern civic quarter into a new hotel and leisure complex.
Proposals to partly demolish the Leonardo and Thoresby buildings and 2 Great George Street, near the city’s Millennium Square, have been put forward by Ide Real Estate.
In their place, two new hotels and an office block would be built, with a family-friendly public realm space featuring table tennis tables lying in between.
Speaking for Ide at a city plans panel meeting on Thursday, Ronan Faherty said that they were in talks with four hotel chains, none of whom currently have a base in Leeds.
He said: “For two of the operators we’re talking to, this would actually be their first one outside of London. I think that would be a real coup for Leeds.
“We think it would be a great addition to the city. The site has huge potential.”
Ide had been forced to change some of the proposed designs to the buildings after complaints from councillors earlier this year that they were “disrespectful” to the surrounding area.
But while elected members were much more impressed with the amendments, there was strong criticism of the rooftop design for the Great George Street building, which developers want to convert into a hotel. A “garden fence” and a “Soviet bunker” were among the terms councillors used to describe it.
Mr Faherty agreed to review the design and said councillors’ concerns would be addressed.
A motion was passed backing the plans in principle, with further amendments to be returned to councillors for approval later in the year.
Mr Faherty said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the City Plans Panel and the positive response to our proposals, which are the result of a constructive and collaborative process with Leeds City Council.
“We will be addressing a minor outstanding issue concerning the rooftop design of the Great George Street building and look forward to submitting our planning application in the coming weeks.
“Our vision, aligned with the city and the council, is to create a bold, vibrant and exciting lifestyle destination in the emerging innovation district.
“We want to build a diverse community for local entrepreneurs, producers, artists, musicians and artisans to work, relax and socialise in a family-friendly public setting.
“We have engaged widely with the business and civic community and believe there is great support for our vision.
“We will continue to collaborate closely with the city to reinvent and reenergise these three listed buildings in the city centre.”