A once downtrodden industrial area of Leeds city centre, Holbeck, is about to get a major facelift after regeneration plans were approved by Leeds City Council who hailed it one of the largest redevelopments in Europe.
An 8.69-acre site within the South Bank area of Leeds is set to be transformed from its current derelict state to offer up to 750 new homes, as well as office and retail space, restaurants, community areas, parking and landscaping in a £350m scheme proposed by Commercial Estates Group (CEG).
The proposal also includes plans to build the city’s tallest building – a 142-metre, 40-storey skyscraper – and the South Bank regeneration is ultimately expected to double the size of the city centre.
CEG will also provide vital links to reconnect the area to the city centre, with a series of new pedestrian routes as well as four footbridges over the Hol Beck, five pedestrian crossings and changes to the existing roads to increase accessibility.
The missing piece of the jigsaw for Leeds
David Hodgson, head of strategic development north for CEG, said: “This derelict site is an important core in the west of the city, an area which has suffered from neglect over a number of years. This is set to change.
“At the heart of the South Bank regeneration area, our proposals will deliver the same attention to detail and quality as we are delivering at our award-winning Kirkstall Forge development.”
“This will be an exciting mixed-use strategic development of a critical mass and international standard, revitalising the area and reconnecting local communities to the city.”
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As many as 10,000 people could live and work in the new district, as well as increasing the number of visitors, according to CEG. Many of the area’s existing buildings will be demolished to make way for the new developments, although a listed bridge crossing Hol Beck as well as part of a former print works will be preserved.
According to Labour councillor McKenna who attended the planning meeting, the regeneration of Holbeck is “a rather big piece of the jigsaw” for Leeds city centre.
He added: “You don’t always get the opportunity to thank developers. Please build it, please get on with it – it’s been a vision for a long, long time.”