New £270m landmark on Yorkshire international pool site to go ahead

A £270m development proposal to transform the former International Swimming Pool site in Leeds has been granted full planning consent.

The 2.8-acre site on Lisbon Street, which has been used as a car park since the pools’ demolition in 2009, has been the subject of much scrutiny around its development potential due to its gateway location.

DLA Architecture has designed the development on behalf of Lisbon Street Developments, a joint venture partnership between Marrico Asset Management and Helios Real Estate. DLA submitted proposals earlier this year. The scheme incorporates public realm with links to neighbouring West End sites such as Wellington Place.

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Lisbon Street, Leeds. Picture: Rockhunter Ltd

Plans for Lisbon Street include two build-to-rent residential towers of 33 and 22 storeys offering 629 apartments, a 24-storey student accommodation building with 548 bed spaces, a 15-storey, 120 key aparthotel with 22,000 sq ft of co-working office space and 131,000 sq ft of office space, along with further retail and leisure. Construction is ear-marked to start in spring next year.

The build-to-rent residential towers will incorporate a connected ground floor space to provide residents’ facilities such as a concierge reception, co-working spaces, lounges, entertainment spaces and wellbeing centre as well as extensive cycle storage and first floor external garden terrace. These ancillary areas, which are substantial and much larger than local authority guidelines, are designed to ensure community engagement and support wellbeing.

The plans also include improvements to the existing pedestrian and cycle way to the edge of the site Over 55 per cent of the site is to remain landscaped with engaging public realm installations with a significant landscaped public square being the focus point of the scheme.

Marrico’s Partner, Mark Barnes said: “We are delighted to secure full consent for the vital transformation of this important site which has been underutilised to its true potential for too many years. These proposals play a key role in bringing more investment and growth into the west end of the city centre and complete the crucial missing link”.

"We have collaborated closely with DLA Architecture to refine our design to meet the changing needs of occupiers and maintain momentum despite current economic challenges. The Lisbon Street development will remove an unsightly site and deliver high-quality architecture and public realm, whilst creating an attractive and distinctive urban development in its own right. The scheme will reinforce the confidence in the continuing regeneration of the area, acting as a catalyst for further on-going investment and regeneration."

Leeds established DLA Architecture has a long-standing professional relationship with Marrico having already advised on its other major Leeds schemes including Central Square and the proposed new 300 bed hotel at Sovereign Square. DLA has expert knowledge of Leeds architectural landscape and council aspirations to enhance the city’s public realm and connect this part of Leeds with other parts of the West End district.

Mark Redfern, head of design at DLA Architecture, said: “We are thrilled to secure this planning consent to enable us to deliver an inspiring new environment deserving of this critical site in Leeds city centre. There was a pre-requisite that we balance commercially viable accommodation with strong public realm”.

“Our design creates a family of four different buildings with individual, contextual character but harmonised through a common architectural language with a tonal colour shift across the site moving from the conservation area and Leeds’ traditional red brick hues to a paler, more contemporary palette towards the West End. The scheme embodies the joint vision for a 24/7 destination supporting sustainable growth, offering a dynamic transition between the city centre’s financial core and neighbouring residential localities.”

The full project delivery team includes DLA Architecture, Re-form Landscape Architecture, Quod, CSD, Curtins, RBA, Turley, Brooks Ecological, Stroma Building Control, Jensen Hughes, Hydrock, Apex Acoustics, Windtech and AA Projects.

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James Mitchinson