Victoria Gate secures planning approval

THE £130m Victoria Gate development in Leeds has secured planning approval.
 
Hammerson, the retail developer behind the project, received approval by the Leeds City Council’s plans panel today. The formal decision by councillors marks the next step towards construction work starting on the 37,000m2 (phase 1) of retail space in spring 2014.

The  £400m Thorpe Park development has also been approved by Leeds City Council today. More news on this tomorrow morning on TheBusinessDesk.com.

Previously known as Eastgate Quarters, phase one of the Victoria Gate development is set to generate 2,700 construction employment opportunities, as well as more than 1,500 retail and hospitality jobs when it opens in autumn 2016.

As well as housing more than 30 retailers, the development will anchor a 24,000m2 flagship John Lewis store featuring a striking façade that draws on Leeds’ proud textile heritage. The John Lewis store will also link to the existing Victoria Quarter in an elegantly designed two street arcade and include a multistory car park for more than 800 cars.

Hammerson project director for Victoria Gate, Joe Swindells, said: “The positive decision from Leeds City Council’s plans panel is a major next step towards getting construction underway in the spring. We are fully committed to creating a retail development that will not only reaffirm Leeds’ status as a top retail destination for luxury and aspirational brands in the UK, but will also add value to Leeds’ local economy and community.”

Leeds City Council executive member for the economy and development Councillor Richard Lewis said: “This approval in fantastic news for the city as Victoria Gate is going to provide a huge boost to the Leeds and wider city region economies.

“The scheme will help regenerate that area of the city centre and will complement the well-established Victoria Quarter and the brand new Trinity Leeds to further enhance the exceptional retail offer in the city. Victoria Gate will also mean the creation of hundreds of new jobs to help local people and I look forward to seeing work get underway on site in the coming months to bring this development to reality.”

It is understood that Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine and Vinci have made it through the first round of bidding for phase one of the development, according to Construction News.

Hammerson achieved outline-planning consent in July 2011 and submitted detailed designs to the council in July 2013. The designs were recommended for approval following the determination report submitted to the council.