Working with two of our existing clients, Maple Grove Developments (Developer) and Rushbond PLC (current owners of the site) DLA has submitted a full planning application for the proposed demolition and redevelopment of the existing office building known as Oak House. The proposal provides for a 188 bed high quality student accommodation development, including ground floor ancillary student space and enhancement of the adjacent greenspace for the benefit of the wider community.

The scheme design responds to the historic grain of the Hanover Square/Woodhouse Square Conservation Area and seeks to preserve and enhance its setting. The design concept creates a series of linked townhouses, facetted to respond to the curving site boundary fronting on to Park Lane and reflecting the historic street pattern. The scheme graduates in height from 3 to 6 storeys and terminates in a ‘bookend pavilion’ that completes the streetscape and views from Hanover Square.

The proposal has been designed to form a transition between the higher rise, denser sites to the south, adjacent to the Kirkstall Road corridor and the 2 to 3 storey residential housing to the north. Potential off-site highways enhancements are proposed to the public realm including improved footpath links and crossing points within the immediate vicinity of the site, together with traffic calming measures to reduce the dominance of the car. The scheme incorporates ground floor work and collaboration spaces for students and for wider use by the local residents as a community room, gym, cinema and common room. The proposed ground floor uses are designed to enhance both activity and natural surveillance within the immediate area.

Our detailed contextual analysis identified the importance of preserving long distance views to local landmarks such as the Church of St Bartholomew and the dominant Armley Prison, both of which are Grade II* Listed. Through consultation with the local residents group, the scheme incorporates new tree and wildflower planting on the greenspace to further enhance these views.

Subject to receiving planning approval, the proposed development will start on site early 2020, with completion scheduled for July 2021.