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City Centre
Area Action Plan

Area Action Plans are a key priority of the Leeds Local Development Framework. The focus of the City Centre Area Action Plan is to promote the continued and sustainable renaissance and development of the city centre as the hub of the City region.

Preparation of the Plan began in 2005, and on 27 September, Leeds HMO Lobby participated in the 'Use & Function' Theme Workshop, held as part of stage one of the preparation. The Lobby responded to the Stage 1 Consultations on Residential Options in April 2006, and to the Preferred Options a year later in 2007.

City Centre Area Action Plan
Date: 28 September 2005
From: Leeds HMO Lobby
To: lois.pickering@leeds.gov.uk

Dear Lois, thank you for all your hard work in the Residential Workshop yesterday afternoon. Here's a couple of follow-up notes.

# There are currently nearly 100,000 students in Leeds - but this includes part-time. Those with residential requirements number about 40,000, according to Unipol.

# The necklace (or noose?) of purpose-built student accommodation already circling the city centre comprises:
- in the NW, a de facto 'Woodhouse Student Village' in and adjacent to the joint campus of the two universities on Woodhouse Lane, including Charles Morris Hall, Ellerslie Hall, Lyddon Hall, Hyde Terrace, Henry Price Flats, St Mark's Flats, Leodis Flats, Montague Burton Flats (all University of Leeds), plus Carlton Hill, Woodhouse Flats, Eldon Court, Samara Plaza, and the new development on the former BBC site.
- in the W, another de facto 'Little Woodhouse Student Village', eventually housing 3,000, including Sentinel Towers, Liberty Park, and other developments on Burley Rd, Cavendish St (2), Park Lane/Belle Vue Rd, West St/Marlborough St, Park Lane/Hanover Sq, Westfield/Burley Rd (eg Concept House).
- in the N, development on Claypit Lane.
- in the E, the new Unipol development on Mill Street.
- in the S, Clarence Dock.

Hope this may be helpful. Cheers, Richard Tyler


Leeds HMO Lobby responded to the Stage 1 Consultations, Residential Options, as follows.

City Centre Area Action Plan
Date: 26 April 2006
From: Leeds HMO Lobby
To: robin.coghlan@leeds.gov.uk

Dear Robin, I am writing to you as the contact for consultation on the City Centre Area Action Plan, on behalf of Leeds HMO Lobby. I am sending a paper copy of the Residential Response Form by post. In addition, I wish to comment on Question RS06.

RS06 proposes two Options for the development of student housing, either "anywhere in the city centre" or "only in peripheral city centre locations well connected to universities." Since Leeds HMO Lobby participated in the 'Uses & Functions' Workshop on 27 September 2005, and played some part in devising these two Options, the Lobby makes two observations.

First of all, the Lobby drew attention to the fact that many current developments of student housing (as well as many already in place) were in fact located on the periphery of the city centre (a 'necklace' of development). Details were outlined in a subsequent email [below]. It is probably likely that any further developments will also be on the periphery. But this is not to say that all such development should be peripheral. Indeed, two of the longest-standing instances of city-centre accommodation, provided by Unipol, are located at 1/7/11 New York Street and at Alexander Court in Alexander Street, both in the heart of the city centre (respectively in the Shopping Quarter and the Office Quarter, as designated in the UDP). While anticipating that new development of student housing is likely to be on the periphery, Leeds HMO Lobby would not wish to preclude development anywhere in the city centre.

Partly, this is because a distinction between the centre of the Centre and the periphery of the Centre is to a degree artificial. Leeds city centre is not a large area, and all parts are pretty well within walking distance of all other parts. Given that both Leeds' universities have a campus entirely within the city centre, this leads to our second observation: it is not really very meaningful to refer to "peripheral city centre locations well connected to universities." By the very fact of being within the city centre, any such location is well connected to the universities. This second qualification then is not really applicable. Again, Leeds HMO Lobby would not wish to preclude development anywhere in the city centre.

In fact, the Lobby endorses Unipol's City Living commitment: "Unipol is committed to providing housing right in the centre of Leeds. These developments are intended for students who want to be 'at the heart' of a dynamic and thriving city, with restaurants, bars and city centre life all around them. Many students have part-time jobs in the city and for those who live in these developments home is often just round the corner from work" (website: Unipol Student Homes > Unipol Properties).

Best wishes, Richard Tyler, Leeds HMO Lobby


The Preferred Options for the City Centre Area Action Plan were published for consultation in April 2007.

Representation on
Preferred Options Main Report April 2007

Comment 1
Section 3 Preferred Options, PO No PO-08
With one qualification, Leeds HMO Lobby supports Preferred Option PO-08 To encourage the development of purpose built student accommodation... The Lobby agrees that (1) the city centre is attractive to students, (2) in the north-west, it includes campuses of both universities, and (3) the whole city centre is within easy access of these campuses; additionally, (4) such development in the city centre implements Policy H15A of the Revised UDP (2006), and is in accordance with the Council’s Strategy for Housing Students in Leeds (2007).

Comment 2
Section 3 Preferred Options, PO No PO-08
Leeds HMO Lobby recommends the addition of one qualification to Preferred Option PO-08, namely except where the City Centre falls within the Area of Housing Mix [that is, in Little Woodhouse]. Policy H15 of the Revised UDP (2006) places conditions on the development of student housing within the Area of Housing Mix. (The accompanying text also encourages proposals for purpose-built student housing, but (a) this is only on the basis of a number of conditions, and (b) it is accompanying text, not policy.) The protection provided to vulnerable communities like Little Woodhouse by Policy H15 must be maintained within the City Centre Area Action Plan.

Comment 3
Section 3 Preferred Options, Para 3.1.9
Para 3.1.9 states more dispersal of university teaching accommodation away from the north west corner to the rest of the city centre could have advantages in shifting the locus of accessible suburbs away from the A660 Headingley corridor. Leeds HMO Lobby endorses this view. Such development would further the aims of the Revised UDP (2006) with regard to student housing, as well as those of the Council’s Strategy for Housing Students in Leeds (2007). It would reinforce measures to this end, such as those by Unipol in its housing publicity.

Comment 4
Section 4 Proposal Area Statements, Para 4.7
Leeds Metropolitan University Civic Campus: Leeds HMO Lobby supports Proposal iii, namely This proposals area would be particularly acceptable for student accommodation. Such a use could be accommodated preferably on upper floors within a mixed use development. Such development would further Preferred Option PO-08 in particular, and Policy H15A of the Revised UDP (2006) in general.

Comment 5
Section 4 Proposal Area Statements, Para 4.10
University of Leeds Campus: Leeds HMO Lobby supports Proposals ii and iii, namely More could be made of St George’s Field for passive recreation and a tranquil space and An east-west public pedestrian route using University Road and a north-south route using the Willow Terrace bridge over the Inner Ring Road should be identified. The adjoining neighbourhoods have been overwhelmed by the impact of the recent expansion of the University of Leeds (and also Leeds Metropolitan University). It is only just that in return the amenities and through-routes of the Campus be made more accessible to those neighbourhoods.

Leeds HMO Lobby, May 2007



Leeds HMO Lobby
email: hmolobby@hotmail.com website: www.hmolobby.org.uk/leeds