‘Sub-standard’ Burley Street student flats scheme recommended for approval

A CGI image indicating how the proposals would ook in practice.

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 site on Burley Street. Photo: Google

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.


  1. The new build flats on Burley Street are to be built on a piece of land which had Three Viable businesses trading. The only reason it is empty is because the council put it up for sale and turfed them out. As a long time local resident I am disappointed that no provision for the replacement of our Cafe and also our Fish & Chip Shop has been requested by the planning officers! It is obvious that the needs of locals are outweighed by the needs of developers. We are not to be considered other than as an irrelevance.

  2. Nigel Smith is correct.
    The interests of local permanent residents are being sold down the river by our council.
    Student residents are good people.
    However – At last count, they were 76% of our community area.
    Our entire local infrastructure is skewed by this unbalance in our community.
    Student accommodation appears to be council tax exempt.
    So – The local council tax payers like ourselves will be subsidising another unwelcome development while the developers are laughing at us …. once again … aided and abetted by the council planning officers.
    Another of these high-rise student flat developments is exactly what we do not need or want in our area


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