Housing association giant to build on vacant Leeds city centre site

Clarion has been granted approval to build more than 1,400 homes on a vacant brownfield site in Leeds.

The housing association giant was yesterday given approval to build the development on a 4.9-hectare site formerly occupied by Yorkshire Chemicals works and First Bus depot in the city centre.

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How the Kirstall Road scheme will look

The scheme, built by Clarion’s development arm Latimer, will include 1,437 homes and 362 units of student accommodation.

Four tower blocks ranging from eight to 17 storeys in height will be built, along with a 15-storey student block and four town houses.

The masterplan, designed by architects Broadway Malan, also includes flexible ground floor space, landscaping, a bridge across the river Aire and shared gardens. A total of 35% of the homes will be for affordable tenures.

Clarion will own and manage the site but is looking at opportunitiies to attract funding for the build-to-rent and student housing in the scheme.

Richard Cook, group development director at Clarion, said: “Our project will kickstart development on the Kirkstall Road corridor, creating an exemplar and sustainable mixed-use community for the city.

“We want this development to set the benchmark for new housing in Leeds, including a substantial number of affordable homes for those who need them most.”

Luke Walter, director of architecture at Broadway Malyan, said: ““We were keen to maximise the assets the site offers in our masterplan – the River Aire, proximity to the City Centre, great transport links – and to capture the site’s history as an important aspect of the design process to maintain its authenticity and make real change to the area.”

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Work on the Kirkstall Road site, which Clarion said will deliver an estimated £300m in social value to the city economy, will begin in summer 2022 with an expected completion date of 2029.

Clarion announced in January it had completed 1,586 homes in the first nine months of the 2021/22 financial year and increased its turnover and profit following a pandemic slowdown. The 125,000-home housing association, in a trading update, reported revenue of £783m for the first nine months of the financial year, up from £677m the previous year.