27 August 2021
JONATHAN Morgan, our Leeds City Centre Specialist takes a look at how Kirkstall Road is changing as a wave of new residential schemes are proposed.
"As our city centres continue to enjoy positive change, some neighbourhoods find it easier to establish their identity than others.
The challenge for areas which are in the process of emerging from their former lives is to be able to create togetherness and momentum in what is a fundamentally competitive environment.
An unusually compact city core means that 'prime' opportunities are limited by implication. With swathes of undeveloped or under-used land to the west, south and east of the city centre, it is critical that we stop obsessing about prime and core and start expanding our horizons."
When John Thorpe, the Civic Architect, was re-imagining the city centre some years ago, he endeavoured to articulate themes for the city and its inner suburbs. His vision for Kirkstall Road from the western end of Wellington Street, all the way to the Canal Road viaduct, was for a green corridor, heavily tree lined and running parallel to the River Aire all the way into the city, opening up major riverside sites.
Fast forward a number of years and the vision is starting to emerge with 4 or 5 new schemes beginning to gather momentum, from the former Burley Liberal Club to the west, all the way to the Clarion Homes proposals for around 1,500 apartments including students, build-to-rent and affordable housing, to the east.
Across the road on the North side, new independent operators such as Kirkstall Brewery and Taproom, Archive and My Lahore have already sensed the winds of change. The developers of The Residence at the very eastern end of Kirkstall Road identified the potential very early on- their new apartment building is due for completion at the end of this summer and with over two-thirds of the scheme already sold, it's evident that the buying public share their confidence. Short walks will connect residents quickly and easily with the LGI and the Law Courts -12 minutes, Leeds University - 16 minutes, Wellington Place - 9 minutes, the Railway Station - 15 minutes and Holbeck Urban Village along the canalside -16 minutes.
This well-known and highly prominent corner of Leeds city centre is likely to see dramatic change in the next 5-7 years.
If you are interested in finding out more about The Residence, please click here.