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Green light for Sovereign Street, Leeds

Muse Developments has been granted planning consent by Leeds City Council for a proposed 60,000 sq ft office building to be let to KPMG, the first new build office in Leeds city centre since 2006.

David Wells, development director for Muse, said: “We are delighted to have secured planning consent for Sovereign Street. This is one of the few pre-let, Grade A, office buildings to be developed in the city over the next few years and we can now look forward to working with our partners to commence construction in summer 2013.”

Chris Hearld, KPMG’s Leeds office senior partner, said: “Today’s decision, which gives us the green light to get cracking on our new office development, is excellent news. After a good deal of preparation, visible progress next year will be most exciting.”

The new 60,000 sq ft office development, designed by Scott Brownrigg, is the first of three buildings proposed around a new area of green public realm on Sovereign Street, which has also been granted planning consent today. The public realm will be developed by Leeds City Council and has been designed by Re-form landscape architects.

The new public realm will provide the first public green space in Leeds for many years and a focus for both the immediate business users and the wider community within the city. The space will feature both tranquil grassed areas with seating and a water feature which will hark back to the previous industrial uses of the site and reflect Leeds’ ambition to be a child-friendly city.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and the economy, said: “It is excellent news that the plans panel has given its seal of approval to both the council’s ambitious plans for the Sovereign Street green space and to the KPMG development.

“Both will really make a difference to this sector of the city centre, re-introducing the site to full permanent use.  We are opening it up to be a fantastic green space for the public and business community and boosting investment in the process.”

Sovereign Street has been a council-owned car park since the Queen’s Hall was demolished in 1989. In close proximity to the city’s vibrant waterfront area, railway station, city centre and retail core it forms a key part of the Council’s plans to enhance and regenerate the southern part of the city centre.

As well as the Sovereign Street redevelopment scheme Leeds City Council is working with the private sector across the city to deliver and support several major development projects to facilitate economic growth.  These include the Arena, which will be delivered by 2013, the Trinity retail and leisure scheme, also due to open in 2013, and the Eastgate retail scheme.

Construction of the building is targeted to commence in summer 2013 and KPMG will be in occupation in summer 2015. Completion of the public green space is scheduled to complete spring 2015.