Planning Secured as £185m Leeds Urban Village Moves Forward 

Planning Secured as £185m Leeds Urban Village Moves Forward

Joint venture partners Cole Waterhouse and Tonia Investments have secured a significant amended planning consent for Leeds Urban Village, a £185 million mixed-use, residential led scheme in the East of Leeds city centre.

The partnership acquired the 3.8-acre site in May 2022 with full detailed planning permission for 1,012 apartments across five towers with commercial space on the ground floor.

Following the purchase, Leeds-based DLG Architects and landscape specialists Exterior Architects were appointed to review the scheme design with a focus on enhanced placemaking and a significant review of its wind mitigation features.

Having worked closely with a range of stakeholders through the summer including Leeds City Council, a Section 73 Minor Material Amendment Application was submitted in December 2023. The planning approval will mean there are wholesale changes to the building’s elevational and public realm design. Wind mitigation measures have also been substantially improved through changes to the towers’ form and massing.

Leeds Urban Village will deliver 1,012 residential apartments across five towers ranging from 13-23 storeys and will include 478 BTR apartments. The ground floor spaces will accommodate retail, food and beverage as well as a considered range of resident amenities such as a shared pantry, cinema, gym and a ‘library of things’ – appliances and useful equipment for people to borrow.

The public realm, designed by Exterior Architecture, includes features such as a climbing wall and spaces for active play, whilst a large central hub offers opportunities for events, markets and gatherings. The development is targeting Fitwel rating – the world’s leading healthy building design accreditor – and has considered occupant wellbeing and health from the outset of design.

In addition, a new cycle hub within the public realm is proposed with direct platform lift access to basement parking and a range of high-quality cycle welfare facilities.

Speaking about the scheme, George Smith, planning manager at Cole Waterhouse, commented: “These design enhancements will ensure that Leeds Urban Village is a desirable new urban neighbourhood and a cultural destination in itself, designed to meet and exceed people’s expectations now and in the future.

“Located in the heart of Leeds city centre with both the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Great Northern Ballet nearby, we have looked at how we best build on the surrounding cultural offer to deliver a vibrant and meaningful placemaking strategy to strengthen further our engagement with the cultural and creative community in Leeds as our vision for the site develops.”

George continues: “We have been working with Colliers to secure development funding and also working on the appointment of a main contractor. We are aiming to start on site in Q2 2024 to deliver the first phases of much needed Built-to-Rent homes for the city of Leeds.”

Cole Waterhouse has a strong track record in the residential and BTR sector and has a current pipeline to deliver over 2,000 residential units across its sites in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

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