Two towers are student living, one is PRS residential. Credit: via French PR

Success for £400m Yorkshire Post site plans

Urbanite Living has secured consent to develop three residential towers at the central Leeds plot, the tallest of them 42 storeys.

The Leeds-based developer is working with DLA Architecture and planning consultant Quod. Hydrock is providing M&E, energy and sustainability advice.

The prominent gateway site has been vacant since the Yorkshire Post group relocated in 2014.

Urbanite’s proposals includes three residential towers, ranging in height from 25 to 42 storeys. The tallest two will contain 1,782 student beds in a total of 576 cluster apartments, along with leisure and wellbeing facilities.

The third building will provide 348 private rent apartments with landscaped roof gardens, taking advantage of south-facing riverside views.

According to the development team, the brownfield regeneration project will include a micro-forest, public square and riverside walk, joining the site up with further parts of new public realm along the riverfront.

Urbanite said it will work alongside Leeds city councillors to restore and resurrect heritage features at the scheme.

The developer is part of Asset Capital, which has a development pipeline of more than 3,500 student bedrooms across Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leicester, Leeds and York.

In 2022, Urbanite announced a £1bn partnership with Prescient Capital to target 6,500 student bedrooms over the next three to five years. Prescient had previously appointed Rick Gambetta of Hexagon Finance to assist with the funding of this significant development.

Daniel Newett, a founder of Urbanite, said: “Leeds remains one of the UK’s top university destinations with education space as well as student applications continuing to increase at a rapid pace.

“Furthermore, with a 30% year on year increase of graduate students staying in Leeds, the demand for rental accommodation is at an all time high.

“This scheme delivers uncompromising living spaces with fantastic public realm that is both sustainable and adaptable for the future whilst also supporting health and wellbeing of its occupants.”

Sue Sparling, director at DLA Architecture, is currently advising on various strategic mixed developments in Leeds city centre. She said: “We are very pleased to receive the support of councillors on the City Centre Plans Panel for our proposed scheme on this important gateway into the city.

“Our design narrative really embodies the former uses of the site, woollen mill to paper mill, and embraces the local characteristics of the surrounding conservation area.”

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