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New plans for listed city centre buildings to be discussed


New plans to convert and extend a pair of listed buildings in Leeds city centre to create student accommodation are set to be discussed later this week.A pre-application report on McLaren Properties’ plans for the Leonardo Building and Thoresby House will go before Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel on 25 February 2021.Thoresby House, formerly known as Thoresby High School, was designed by Walter Samuel Braithwaite and dates back to 1889. Leonardo Building is a former print works building dating from 1900 and was extended in the 1990s. Both buildings were most recently used as council offices.The new plans cover the redevelopment and extension of the historic buildings, as well as the construction of an 11-storey property on the existing car park.A total of 475 student bedrooms would be created in a mix of studio and cluster flats, with 223 in the converted listed buildings and 252 in the new-build property.The plans also include a range of social spaces and publicly accessible open landscaped areas.A report prepared for the meeting said the proposed development would help “reduce the need to use private housing for student accommodation” and “provide employment opportunities for local people in both the construction and subsequent operation of the development”.Committee members will be asked for their views on the student accommodation use, the proposed living conditions and the emerging design.Planning permission was previously granted in 2018 for the redevelopment of the Thoresby, Leonardo and Great George Street buildings. This proposal included a mix of office, leisure and hotel accommodation but has not been implemented to date.The Great George Street buildings do not form part of the new scheme, with proposals from a separate developer set to be brought forward.