23 Mar PLATFORM_ to transform iconic Leeds site into vibrant new neighbourhood
Leeds City Council approves plans to create ambitious 1,350 apartment mixed use development with value of £500 million
Leading build-to-rent (BTR) developer and operator, PLATFORM_, has today (23 March 2023) secured approval from Leeds City Council’s planning committee to create a 1.3 million sq ft mixed-use quarter on Sweet Street West. The site is located in the South Bank regeneration area which is extending the city centre to the south.
Signalling long-term investment in the region that represents value of £500 million, the development set across eight acres will accelerate the regeneration of the South Bank area by delivering a thriving mixed-use quarter on a brownfield site which has been vacant since 2009.
The masterplan will deliver up to 1,350 BTR apartments, responding to Leeds City Council’s ambitious Housing Strategy 2022-27 and its Best City Ambition initiative, which seeks to improve the housing stock available across the city and improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Leeds home.
The next generation neighbourhood has been designed with green space throughout and placemaking initiatives carefully woven into the masterplan, to create a flagship destination for people to live, work and socialise. The development incorporates the refurbishment of historic pub The Commercial, as well as creation of a neighbourhood hub which will provide additional dining and entertainment options and dedicated amenities for residents around a newly created public square.
Across the neighbourhood, residents will benefit from a wide range of amenities including a gym, residents’ lounges, dedicated co-working space, private dining suite and extensive outdoor space and roof terraces incorporating outdoor exercise space, children’s play areas and pet-friendly facilities. The mix of new studio, one, two and three-bed homes with a range of finishes and furnishing options will appeal to a wide demographic.
The masterplan also includes two new office buildings of 96,000 sq ft and 48,000 sq ft respectively, with floorplates of up to 15,000 sq ft. The provision of high-quality office space reinforces the location’s attractiveness to businesses following the recent letting of the neighbouring Drapers Gardens development to Labcorp, a global life sciences and healthcare company.
The energy conscious and sustainable design will combine renewable energy sources, smart in-home technologies and energy efficient heating and lighting systems, to create a low carbon development that supports the city’s ambition to become net zero carbon by 2038. This includes the use of air source heat pumps, sustainable urban drainage, green roofs and solar panels across the development.
Residents will also benefit from multiple electric vehicle car charging points and car club parking spaces, encouraging people to reduce individual car ownership. PLATFORM_ is targeting BREEAM Excellent for the Grade A office buildings.
The site, which is owned freehold by PLATFORM_, is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Leeds Central rail station and provides residents with easy access to amenities including shops, restaurants, health centres and schools.
PLATFORM_ will now commence enabling works, alongside detailed design and a construction tender process for the first phase of the development to position itself to start on site later in 2023.
Jean-Marc Vandevivere, CEO at PLATFORM_, said: “The green light from Leeds City Council is the news that we have been waiting for, and we are incredibly pleased that we can now progress with our development which is set to become one of the most desirable residential and office communities in the city.
“We’re extremely excited about turning this site that has lain derelict for too long into a thriving neighbourhood supporting Leeds City Council’s goals of delivering new homes across the city and continuing the rapid regeneration of the South Bank area of Leeds.
“This will be PLATFORM_’s largest development yet, taking our portfolio to 4,000 apartments and value of over £1bn as we continue to add further BTR opportunities across the UK.”
Matt Willcock, Development Director at PLATFORM_, said: “Throughout the planning process, we have positively engaged with Leeds City Council to ensure that our vision gives the city what it truly needs, and we are thrilled that they share our vision so that we can now, together, make it a reality.
“As we progress our sustainable community, we’re looking forward to continuing our positive relationships with the local authority, stakeholders and importantly, the local community. With a thoughtful design, stellar resident benefits and sustainability at its heart, PLATFORM_ is delivering a blueprint for modern-day living.”