Approval for next stage of city’s ‘West End’ regeneration

PLANNING chiefs have given the go-ahead to the next stage of the transformation of a city’s key gateway.

Outline planning consent has been granted for a new 600,000 sq ft phase of mixed-use development on Whitehall Riverside in Leeds, on a site currently being used as a car park.

The approval provides outline consent for 375,000 sq ft of offices spread over three eight-storey buildings, restaurant, café and leisure space and a 500-space car park all on the south side of Whitehall Road.

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The proposal includes No. 2 Whitehall Riverside, the largest of the three office buildings, for which Town Centre Securities will now prepare a reserved matters application.

Edward Ziff, chairman and chief executive of Town Centre Securities plc, said: “We are delighted to have received outline planning consent for this phase of development which is so crucial to 
the long-term regeneration and vibrancy of the West End of 
Leeds.

“At present, there is little or no available Grade A stock to meet occupiers’ requirements for large floor-plates and we are now able to commit to that through bringing our plans to life.

“We have worked very closely with Leeds City Council to ensure that our designs complement the existing and proposed developments in the vicinity and are looking forward to pressing on with the next stage of the process.”

A meeting of the City Plans Panel was told that the application was “part of the development of Whitehall Road that has bene taking place for years”. The panel heard that the overall design “fits in well with what’s already there”, although there were some reservations about the “recycled tyres” look of the proposed multi-storey car park.

Project bosses say that in addition to providing green frontage to Whitehall Road, a key design aim is to create important linkages around the scheme.

Scheme architect Gregg Mitchell said the plans have been produced to bring “a sense of unity to Leeds’ West End”.

He said: “While this was a stand-alone application, it has been designed with its surroundings in mind. We have strived to create both visual and physical links between the city centre, Holbeck and Leeds train station in order to maximise the look and flow of the space. It is an incredibly exciting development for the city and will undoubtedly enhance its already strong appeal as a commercial centre.”

Plans for two new buildings, forming part of the already underway Wellington Place development, were also given initial approval at the same meeting. The initial nod for the two office blocks paves the way for a full planning application and adds to the ambitious overall vision for Leeds’s Whitehall Road area.