West End gateway for Leeds takes shape with green light for McLaren’s mixed use neighbourhood

Leeds City Council has McLaren’s mixed use Wellington Square development of build-to-rent homes and commercial space in Leeds’ West End. The new neighbourhood, designed by Howells Architects, will transform a 2.47 acre site into a lively gateway to Leeds city centre with a landmark tower, high-quality new homes and innovative workspace in the city’s professional core and Innovation Arc, which establishes the area as a hub for research and innovation.

In their advice to the City Plans Panel, the council’s planners said McLaren’s significant scheme provided “high quality contemporary architecture” that “would complete the ‘West End’ proposals, collectively providing substantial investment and delivering significant improvements to townscape, public realm and connectivity in the area and wider economic benefits including meaningful employment and housing opportunities.”

The planners welcomed the new office space as a significant contribution to meeting the city centre growth target of at least 7 million square feet. Ground floor commercial space would encourage pedestrian activity and general vitality and vibrancy in the neighbourhood and provide an amenity for both residents and office workers.

The 45-storey residential tower will be home to households of up to six people in apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms. Residents will have a choice of around 10,000 square feet of shared amenity spaces, including a concierge, post/parcel storage room and a lounge on the ground floor, a fitness and wellbeing space on the first floor and an exceptional sky lounge with panoramic views from the 45th floor. All 21 car parking spaces will be equipped for electric vehicle charging.

The twin office buildings, totalling around 364,000 square feet (NIA) over 14 and 15 storeys, accommodate up to 3,500 new jobs and aspire to set new standards for workspace in the region. Workers and visitors will enjoy south facing terraces at various levels, connected to work and event space. Cyclists have a dedicated entrance from the city’s cycle highway to extensive cycle facilities including secure storage, a cycle repair station, studio wellbeing space and shower facilities. They are designed to reach the highest standards of sustainability and energy efficiency, BREEAM Outstanding and NABERS 6.

Both McLaren Property and McLaren Living are active in Leeds from an office on Park Row. McLaren Property has a strong regional pipeline of developments worth around £700 million, including the 473-bed student accommodation scheme on the site of Leonardo Printworks in the Civic Quarter. McLaren Living is bringing forward 375 build-to-rent units at the £85 million Beck Yard scheme, located in the South Bank regeneration area.

Project team:

Client: McLaren Property and McLaren Living

Architects/Lead Designer: Howells Architects

Project Manager/Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald

Planning Consultant: ID Planning

Heritage Consultant: ID Planning

Principal Designer: Project Four Safety

Structural/Civil Engineer: Meinhardt

Facade Consultant: Meinhardt

Transportation: Fore Consulting

Landscape: Reform

MEP Engineer: Atelier 10 (offices); Crookes Walker (resi)

Sustainability & Energy: Atelier 10 (offices); Crookes Walker (resi)

Acoustic Engineer: Cundall

Air Quality: Atelier 10

Ecology: JCA

Fire Engineer: Atelier 10 (offices); Elementa (resi)

Wind Engineer: FD Global

Verified Views: Planit-IE