By David Spereall, local democracy reporter
A new student housing block could be given planning permission next week, despite one councillor having attacked the plans as “sub-standard”.
Developers Torsion want to demolish a row of former shops on Burley Street in Leeds, to make way for 183 studio flats.
Liberal Democrat councillor Colin Campbell claimed the size of the flats was inadequate, when the proposals were discussed by a planning committee earlier this month.
But council planning officers have branded the development “high-quality” and recommended it be approved when the scheme is considered again next Thursday.
If approved, the flats would be built across a block sloping from six storeys on one side to eight storeys on the other.
The proposed design of the building has been changed following some criticism from councillors at the previous meeting on October 5, to “better relate” to other buildings in the surrounding area.
But the proposed size of the flats themselves remain unchanged, with the majority likely to be around 20sqm.
Criticising that aspect on October 5, Councillor Campbell said: “Students are human beings. We’re pushing them into really, really tiny rooms. These are only up to 20 square metres.
“It could be so much better. I know I go on and on and on about space, but these are sub-standard flats.”
But in their report ahead of next week’s meeting, officers have suggested the development should be approved.
They wrote: “The proposals would regenerate a prominently located brownfield city centre site which in its current form is vacant and underused.
“In doing so it would deliver high quality new development which adds to the offer for students within the city.”
The report also said that students living in the complex would be able to register with the medical practices within the University of Leeds, or Leeds Beckett University, depending on where they study.
Concerns had been raised about the impact of the development on local healthcare, with Labour councillor Kayleigh Brooks saying her residents on the city centre’s outskirts were struggling to get GP appointments.
But officers said both the student surgeries, Hyde Park Surgery, Burley Park Medical Centre and One Medicare in The Light Shopping Centre, are all accepting new patients.