City One: major development site gets go-ahead

Councillors on the City Plans Panel have unanimously approved outline planning permission for the City One scheme in Holbeck at their meeting this afternoon (14 March 2024).

The site, which lies on one of the main routes into the city centre from South Leeds and the motorways and includes the Halfords store, was described by Chair Cllr Jim McKenna as “long overdue for development.”

When completed, City One, bounded by Meadow Road, Sweet Street, Jack Lane and Bowling Green Terrace, will include up to 1,925 private rented flats plus 750,000 sq ft of offices and a 450-bed hotel, together with retail and other ground floor uses.

The exact details of the scheme are all ‘reserved matters’ which means they will come forward for planning permission at a later date, but must fall within the outline permission granted today. Additionally, the outline permission includes a comprehensive 110-page Design Guide which future buildings will have to conform to.

When the scheme was last discussed at a pre-application stage, councillors were concerned that there were no significant areas of green space within the scheme. As one councillor asked “where would future residents go to have a picnic?” The scheme presented today includes a central ‘park’ of a similar size to Park Square or Millennium Square.

There will also be a ‘linear park’ along the Sweet Street frontage to accommodate a high pressure gas main that runs below ground. A number of ‘green streets’ will run both north-south and east-west through the scheme. These will be predominantly pedestrianised, but with some limited vehicle access.

The developers told the panel that they hope to start the enabling works on site by the end of 2024. They then intend to bring forward the first phase of building for approval to commence on site as the enabling works are completed. The whole scheme is expected to take 8-10 years to complete.

You can read the full report to panel here and view the presentation slides here (City One starts on page 23).


Image: Artists impression of City One Square


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