Proposed Purpose Built Student Residential Development at the site of Arena Point, Merrion Way, Leeds
Welcome to the public consultation page for the exciting proposals for a new Purpose-Built Student Accommodation development on the site of Arena Point, Merrion Way, Leeds.
A planning application for these proposals is due to be submitted to Leeds City Council shortly, and we are providing you with the opportunity to view and comment in advance of the submission.
The proposed development is being brought forward by Olympian Homes, an experienced developer of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation. Olympian are already delivering a student accommodation scheme in Leeds known as Altus House (formally known Hume House), which lies immediately adjacent to the current Arena Point office building on Merrion Way. For more information on Olympian Homes please visit their website: www.olympianhomes.com
Olympian Homes value the input of the local community and would welcome your comments on the proposed development. Details of how to comment are provided below.
The site lies in an area that has undergone significant change over the past 10 years and is now the focus of leisure and residential development. Over this same period, the market attractiveness of the existing Arena Point office building has slowly declined, with the building currently only 40% occupied. The current COVID-19 pandemic is only likely to exacerbate this situation as demand for office space reduces going forward.
The proposed development represents an exciting opportunity to redevelop an underutilised site and deliver a scheme more in keeping with the surrounding uses and architectural language of the area. Within Leeds there are approximately 38,000 university students presently without access to purpose-built student accommodation. Market research carried out by Olympian also indicates that even with recently approved schemes built out, there will still only be around 1 student accommodation bed for every 2 students within the city by 2022/23.
The proposed development will directly address this need and contribute to a greater choice of accommodation; supporting Leeds’ reputation as a first class national and international destination for higher education. At the same time, the proposals will free up more traditional housing stock in other parts of Leeds for young professionals, first time buyers and families; contributing positively to Leeds’ overall housing supply.
The proposed development proposes the demolition of the existing office block and the construction of a new purpose-built student accommodation scheme. The proposed development will comprise of a single tower which is expected to be around 43-storeys in height and will sit between existing tall buildings on Merrion Way, including the 36 storey Altus House and the 27 storey White Rose View tower.
In terms of design, the project team have been worked closely with planning and design officers at Leeds City Council over the past year to reach agreement on the building’s massing and appearance. Various materials and colours were considered, but from discussions, it was agreed that the building would be best represented in a smooth white metal cladding, with a delicate shimmer in the finish to ensure brightness over time. Fenestration and metal infill panels are proposed in a bronze finish, similar to that of Altus House. A number of plans and computer-generated images are provided below and show how the proposals would sit within the city’s skyline.
Internally, the proposed development is expected to accommodate around 720 bed spaces in a mix of studios and cluster flats which includes a series of individual study bedrooms alongside a shared kitchen living dining spaces. The studios will include a kitchenette, with every bedroom containing en-suite facilities. Images of what the living accommodation will look like are provided below. The ground and first floor of the proposal will contain a number of communal facilities, such as a reception and a common room. Additional communal amenity spaces are provided throughout the development including a fitness room, cinema, study spaces, laundrette, a winter garden and roof terrace.
It is anticipated that the proposed development will be accessed off Merrion Way with the ground floor reception providing an active street frontage. Public realm improvements are also proposed to Merrion Way and around the building in order to integrate the building into the existing street scene.
At the beginning and end of term time, residents will be allocated a dedicated time slot to use the proposed underground car park in order to drop off/pick up their belongings. Outside of these times, due to the proximity to the City Centre, there will be no on-site parking provided save for two disabled bays within the basement car park. Cycle parking will be provided for both residents and visitors to promote sustainable travel.
The proposals would redevelop a brownfield site that is positioned favourably and sustainably within walking distance of many of the City’s higher education campuses. The site is also well located close to local amenities within the Merrion Centre and the wider City Centre. The delivery of new student accommodation within this location will provide a greater choice of high-quality accommodation in a location where students can make a positive economic contribution to the nearby shops and services.
Providing your Feedback
This project creates an opportunity to redevelop an underutilised site and deliver much-needed purpose-built student accommodation in the Leeds city centre.
We would welcome any feedback you may have on the proposed development. Please provide your comments using the Feedback Form below, entering your name, email address and comments (please note, all feedback will be anonymous once submitted).
Alternatively, if you prefer not to use a computer, please feel free to post your comments to: DPP, One Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5HN
Please submit your comments on or before Monday 23rd November 2020.
Once the planning application has been submitted, full details will be available on Leeds City Council’s website and there will be a further opportunity to comment.
We look forward to receiving your comments on the proposed development.
Your personal data will be retained on our secure database and will not be passed to our clients.
We may also like to contact you to keep you informed about future developments relating to this consultation. You will be able to opt-out of these communications at any time.