Talking Points

Unique £40m Leeds Student Accommodation Scheme Gets Go Ahead

An innovative £40m student accommodation scheme for B&B Pickard (Leeds) Ltd, part of Pickard Properties, was given the go-ahead by planners at Leeds City Council on Thursday 16 July.

The 604-bed scheme at Carlton Hill, Lofthouse Terrace, Woodhouse, will replace a four-floor, 239-bed development which was developed on the same site by Pickard Properties in 2001.

The planning consent also includes an ancillary staff apartment, associated landscaping, parking, a courtyard and public realm.

Its design, which will provide affordable accommodation with student wellbeing at its heart, is believed to be unique within the Leeds area and possibly, within the UK, responding to the issues surrounding students’ mental health.

Featuring larger than standard bedrooms and living spaces, the accommodation incorporates a series of three-storey sky gardens which provide social and common study spaces for clusters of apartments, with this ‘fresh air’ theme being continued at ground floor level via an extensive courtyard and creating a mixture of natural interactive spaces.

Established over fifty years ago, Pickard Properties is a market leading developer and property rental specialist with a solid reputation for its high standards of accommodation. Director, Miles Pickard, is pleased the scheme has received consent with absolutely no opposition from the public. He said:

“This is a great result all round. We are delighted to be bringing such a forward-thinking scheme to market. It is an intelligent design where affordability and mental health were prime drivers. We have worked very closely with Leeds University to ensure the design focused strongly on the mental health and wellbeing of students and encouraged social circulation and interaction throughout the accommodation by the inclusion of carefully planned spaces both within the building and externally.

“It is essential that students have safe and secure spaces where they can socialise in addition to their own study bedroom. It is also important for the City of Leeds to be able to offer a high standard of accommodation both to students with mainstream accommodation budgets as well as overseas students, who often have more extensive budgets. We want to help forge strong and happy memories of their time in Leeds.”

Quod Planning was responsible for the submission of the planning application. Tim Waring, director, added:

“Despite the complicating impacts of COVID-19 on the operation of the planning system, Quod delivered planning consent for the client on programme, which will enable this major regeneration scheme to be delivered by 2023 – an outstanding outcome, that was down to an expert and dedicated professional team.”

Other members of the professional team included Fox Lloyd Jones Quantity surveyor/Project manager, Halliday Clark Architects, Smeeden Foreman, landscape architects; Structural engineer, Sweco; and Hoare Lea, Leeds University & Unipol

Construction is due to start on site in autumn 2020 following the appointment of a contractor. The scheme is due for completion in the summer of 2023 in readiness for the start of the new academic year.

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