Plans for office conversion at Leeds printworks

Posted on by John Cronin

Leeds councillors are due to discuss office conversion plans for a landmark, former printworks building in the city centre when they meet later this week.

printworksProperty developers Rushbond plc had submitted plans initially in 2007 to convert the historic, Grade II listed Alf Cooke printworks buildings in Hunslet Road, Leeds (pictured). The developers want to partially demolish parts of two existing buildings and construct 13 office units in eight, three-storey blocks along with a cafe/restaurant, car parking and public space.

A separate planning application is required for the partial demolition of a listed building. The existing main print hall building is listed due to its significant architectural features and would be retained and converted into offices. The existing mill building would also be retained and refurbished as office space. When constructed in 1895 the building was the world’s largest print works, stretching for some 394 ft along Hunslet Road (source).

The new scheme will offer approximately 162,000 sq ft of floor space with maximum floor plates of approximately 17,700 sq ft potentially available within the converted warehouses. Typical floor plates in the new office buildings will be in the range 3,000 sq ft – 5,000 sq ft. Initial timescales indicated that a first phase of the speculative development would be available from November, 2010 but no date has been given for a revised schedule of works.

The proposed scheme has been presented on three occasions to Leeds Civic Trust and the developers indicate that the Trust have confirmed their support despite some concerns about “the bland exterior” appearance of the new office buildings. English Heritage have not offered any comments and suggest normal planning guidance should be followed on this occasion.

The report produced for the planning committee concludes that the proposed development would make effective use of a large brown field site and recommends permission be granted.

The planning committee is due to meet this Thursday.

This entry was posted in West Yorkshire and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.