At the outset of the design process the aim of the proposals was to turn a disused and walled off former industrial site into an entirely public and car-free landscape. This has been attained by lifting the site to provide a new and interesting topography while creating a void beneath to conceal vehicles. The landscape is the populated with new building blocks that are spaced to provide spaces of varying qualities and functions.

Citu’s brief was to provide family housing with a strong emphasis on communal living, this has resulted in the omission of fenced in private gardens in favour of smaller private terraces that are open onto communal landscaped gardens between the residential blocks for the enjoyment of all. The communal gardens are varied in character including informal courtyards, open areas for play and a covered ‘glasshouse’ garden enabling a unique planting strategy than would be permitted in most developments of this type.

There was also a strong desire from Leeds City Council to provide a new public park on the riverside, where development has historically turned its back. This was manifested by stacking the accommodation into a small tower both creating space and activating the new public garden, which also forms the landing point for a future pedestrian bridge crossing over the River Aire.

Planning History

Throughout the design process close consultation was undertaken with both the planning department the planning committee to ensure that the proposals sat within the wider aspirations of the City’s town planning team. This included pre-application meetings with the council officers and a pre-application presentation to the planning committee ensuring that it was possible to consider all concerns prior to finalising the proposals. The application was submitted 22nd April 2016 and approval was granted unanimously at planning committee on 6th October 2016.

Project Team

Architect: Ollier Smurthwaite Architects
Developer: CITU Group LLP
Planning Authority: Leeds

Development Data

Site size (ha):1.6
Estimated date of completion:07/01/2019
Schedule of accommodation:49 x 1/2/3/4 Bed Apartments, 32 x 1 Bed Houses, 56 x 2 Bed Houses, 48 x 3 Bed Houses, 19 x 4 Bed Houses.
Tenure mix:5% affordable 95% private sale
Size of typical home:74
Parking spaces:122

*All information published is as provided by the awards applicant

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