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Leeds £40m redevelopment plans submitted

Plans for a £40 million student development in Leeds city centre have been submitted to the city council.

The scheme, submitted by developer Downing, and designed by John McAslan & Partners, include the construction of a new 2,550 sq m building and the complete refurbishment of two original university buildings, providing an additional 19,500 sq m of student residential space.

A planning decision is expected in March and, if granted approval, the scheme would completed in September 2012.

It will create 568 student bedrooms and 420 sq m of retail space across three buildings, adjacent to the Inner Ring Road.

The land, formerly owned by Leeds Metropolitan University, would be converted into a new public square and pedestrian link which will be created between Woodhouse Lane and Calderley Street to strengthen the physical links between the city’s universities, and Leeds General Infirmary.

The proposal involves enlarging the parkland setting and prioritising pedestrian access over vehicles throughout the development.

The site is located opposite Downing’s Broadcasting Place student scheme, which is fully let. Last year the 23-storey tower was named Best Tall Building in the World by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – a global panel of architects and engineers.

Paul Houghton, development director at Downing, said: “Leeds is one of the UK’s key university cities with a robust student market and, as we’ve seen with the success of Broadcasting Place, quality student developments are in high demand.

“We have worked closely with John McAslan & Partners to ensure that the scheme will integrate well into the city centre landscape, while the new pedestrian links will considerably improve permeability in this area of the city.  We’re confident that this new development will attract strong interest from potential retail occupants and students alike.”

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