Sixteen apartments are planned for the empty upper floors. Credit: planning documents

Countrylarge plots Wray’s Building revamp

Proposals lodged with Leeds City Council would see the listed Vicar Lane building transformed, with 16 upper floor apartments created in a project designed by Corstorphine & Wright.

The building at 58-60 Vicar Lane is grade two-listed and sits within Leeds’ urban retail core, close to Victoria Gate, on a block bounded by Vicar Lane to the west, Sidney Street to the north, Harewood Street to the east and George Street to the south.

Zerum is the planner on the scheme, with Corstorphine & Wright as architect.

Entrance to the residential units on the upper floors will be through the currently disused Wray’s Building entrance along the northern facade on Sidney Street or through the rear courtyard accessed from Harewood Street. Each will connect to a new circulation core slotted into the rear of the existing building

The ground floor is currently subdivided into five retail units, mostly unlet. The upper floors are unoccupied, and according to C&W’s design & access statement, the building has suffered from extensive water damage over the past few years.

Making the roofs good will be the first item of business. Credit: planning documents

Countrylarge, which is also involved in new-build residential work in Leeds’ South Bank, wants to transform the building by first renovating the building envelope to repair and replace windows and to make good the roof areas and façade elements.

This will be followed by fit-out to create ground floor retail space and what are billed as high-quality residential apartments on the upper floors. The number of retail units will go from five to four, with one space given over to be a lobby for the flats.

The reworked building would present 6,980 sq ft of commercial space, eight two-bedroom apartments and eight one-bedroom apartments. Externally, it will remain much the same, with the addition of a walkway to access the northern apartments.

Key factors in the architect’s approach are outlined as including regenerating a prominent city plot, improving the access to Victoria Gate by activating the Sidney Street frontage, improve the appearance of the rear courtyard from Harewood Street, and reintroducing vacant space to the Leeds market.

The application has only just been validated, so a planning committee date is yet to be set. The plans can be viewed on Leeds’ planning portal at 23/07270/FU.

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