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Plans for More PBSA in Leeds Slammed by Locals

Posted by Calum Martin in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Questions have been raised by local residents in Leeds over construction plans for more purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in the city centre.

The site in question is located within the Merrion shopping centre, which sits in the Arena Quarter area of Leeds city centre.

Over 1,000 student beds could be constructed as part of the proposed 35-storey tower plan, which would see the shopping centre's abandoned old cinema demolished.

First opened in 1964, the cinema had a short lifespan, closing its doors after just 13 years in operation. It has remained unused since its closure in 1977.

Numerous plans have been rejected over the years, including office spaces, a trampoline park and a snooker club. None of these proposals has come to fruition.

The development plans could also see the former office block, Wade House, extended to 15 storeys and converted into accommodation alongside the new tower.

As of yet, no plans have been submitted for the proposal, however, developers have already presented plans to the city councillors for their early opinions on the scheme.

This comes after a relatively active period in student housing developments. Developers have just been given the green light to turn two city-centre pubs into 67 student rooms. Work has also begun to turn the former Mayaimi nightclub in Merrion Street into 88 student studios. Outside of this developers are also looking to turn the House of Fraser building in Briggate into PBSA, although this is still awaiting approval.

A number of locals have submitted their opinions to the news outlet LeedsLive.

One reader commented: "How many more student flats are they gonna build when there are loads empty."

Whilst another stated: "I wasn't a fan of the Merrion centre. But putting student flats bang in the middle of town like wow you could not think of a worse idea."

Not all locals are opposed to the plans for the unused site, with one reader commenting: "Well it's about time something was done with it! It's been unused since before I was even born, and I'm nearly 40!".

Another agreed, stating: "To be fair that cinema has been empty since the 70s. Probably a bit overdue to consider using the site for something else"