New £1bn vision for Leeds’ old brewery site

Artist's impression of One Leeds. Picture by One Leeds PLC
Artist's impression of One Leeds. Picture by One Leeds PLC
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A £1billion masterplan to help transform Leeds’ South Bank over the next 100 years has been drawn up by leading architects and developers in the city.

The One Leeds proposal includes building a state-of-the-art World Trade Center exhibition and conference centre, up to 1,000 apartments, 1million sq ft of office space, 3,000 car parking spaces plus hotels, cafes, restaurants and shops.

Centred around The Tetley contemporary art gallery on the 22acre area once occupied by the Tetley Brewery, the scheme could realise Leeds City Council’s ambitions for a city centre park and “urban eco-settlement” set out in the South Bank Planning Statement it adopted in 2011.

Developer One Leeds PLC has held talks over its South Bank plan with high-level council executives as far back as April 2013 and claims to have had “meaningful negotiations” with a major landowner in the area.

The company has described the scheme as “one of the most significant urban developments the city will have ever witnessed in its 1,300-year history”.

Adam Sims, managing director of One Leeds PLC, said: “What excites me is the enormous enthusiasm from local stakeholders at all levels, and the wisdom and vision of organisations such as Leeds Civic Trust is invaluable.

“I’m passionate about seeing the former Tetley site transformed into one of the finest examples of urban regeneration in western Europe.”

Mr Sims, who claims to have invested £2m in cash in getting the project ready for planning, said One Leeds could accommodate up to 10,000 workers and residents when completed. He hopes work could start in 2017.

Investment both locally and overseas would be sought to make the development a reality – constructing and operating the estate could cost around £800m.

Drawings show that it comprises of around 30 building plots of differing sizes within a 22acre space surrounded by Crown Point to the east, Meadow Lane to the west and Brewery Wharf and Hunslet to the north and south.

Leeds Civic Trust has given feedback on early One Leeds proposals. Director of the trust Dr Kevin Grady said: “We are pleased there is some sense that there is something that potentially might happen on the land. In effect it’s such a crucially important site that it has to be got right.”

He said that the trust “admires the ambition” of the plan and particularly welcomed the idea of conferencing and exhibition facilities, though it has suggested further meetings with interested parties could help refine ideas.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “The council welcomes informal discussions with all developers and is aware of these aspirations.”

The One Leeds plan comes months after it was announced that Leeds City Council had appointed developer Arup and Gehl Architects to deliver a plan to redevelop the South Bank, particularly covering the infrastructure around the new HS2 rail line.