Green light for £62m McLaren student scheme in Leeds

Grant Prior 6 months ago

Leeds City Council has given the green light to McLaren Property’s application to convert listed former council-owned buildings to a 17,490 sqm student accommodation development with 473 beds.

The new £62m development repurposes the Leonardo Printworks, the Leonardo building and Thoresby House in the Civic Quarter of Leeds City Centre, as well as new accommodation on the former car park site.

Construction is due to start next month and to complete by August 2023 in time for the 2023/2024 academic year.

The new student accommodation will be within 5-10 minutes’ walk of The University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett and Leeds Teaching Hospital.

McLaren Property, architects Cartwright Pickard and heritage consultant ID Planning worked closely with Leeds City Council to revisit previous commercial proposals for the site and to improve the retention of historic features. Leonardo Printworks and Thorseby House are Grade II listed Victorian buildings.

Re-purposing of the listed elements as well re-use of the modern building structure substantially reduces the embodied carbon of the new development.

Operational carbon emissions are minimised through connection to the city council’s low-carbon district heating system, as well as through a thermally efficient fabric and the use of rooftop photovoltaic panels.

McLaren Property’s Regional Managing Director, Tom Gilman, said: “There was a great meeting of minds on this project, especially given the complexity of the listed buildings and that it is McLaren’s first student project in Leeds. From a standing start in December when we first began looking at the site it has taken just seven months to get to a minded to grant in July.

“McLaren as a business has invested significantly in Leeds and recognises the huge opportunities in the City. We are excited about continuing to work with the council on planned commercial and build to rent projects on Wellington Street.”

Leeds City Council’s Director of City Development, Martin Farrington, added: “It is really positive to see McLaren Property’s sensitive reuse of the council’s Leonardo and Thoresby buildings as new accommodation for students in Leeds City Centre.

“The redevelopment will bring additional footfall into our city centre which will help boost our post covid recovery that is already enhanced by proposals from the British Library, National Infrastructure Bank and the Bank of England, all looking to locate into our city centre.

“I look forward to seeing McLaren’s development take shape and complete in 2023.”

McLaren Construction is on a major recruitment drive following a string of contract wins as the economy continues to recover.

The contractor has teamed up with recruitment specialist Fawkes & Reece to identify great people to join the business. For more details about opportunities and how to get in touch click here.

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