Office block could make way for 20-storey Leeds PBSA scheme

More than 700 students could be housed in a multi-storey city centre purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development in Leeds if planning permission is granted.

The proposed Leeds PBSA development | PBSA News
The proposed Leeds PBSA development.

A multi-storey Leeds PBSA city centre development could house 700 students, if planning permission is granted. An existing office block would be replaced to facilitate the new accommodation.

Blenheim House, currently a five-storey office block on Duncombe Street, would be knocked down to make way for the scheme. Leeds City Council has been in early-stage discussions with companies including Balfour Beatty.

A pre-application report to the council’s City Plans Panel shows the building would include outdoor garden areas and cycle storage.

The development would be close to other new student accommodation blocks and safe walking routes to the city’s universities would be mapped as part of the future planning application. It said the new scheme could help ease pressure on private family housing in the city.

“A future planning application will need to provide a fuller understanding of how the scheme contributes to student bed-space numbers, but does not create or add to an excessive concentration of this type of use in the area.

“All rooms will have sufficient space for day to day living functions in excess of the emerging minimum standards.

“Following assessment, it is considered all private residential spaces and rooms will benefit from an outlook and adequate receipt of daylight and sunlight.”

Leeds City Council, City Plans Panel 

Also in Leeds, proposals to deliver a new PBSA building off Kirkstall Road was also approved. Leeds City Council signed the Section 106 Agreement.

The application, lodged by Brigade Central LLP, a partnership fronted by Birmingham Properties Group, was submitted to the Council in October 2023. It will see the development of a part eight part ten storey PBSA building.

The Kirkstall Road development has been designed by Leeds-based Cunniff Design. The building takes design cues from its surroundings, integrating well with the existing PBSA schemes in the area.

Planning consultant Jack Dickinson of Nexus Planning considers that the application’s success is owed in part to collaborative pre-application discussions.