Furious Leeds residents slam plans for more city center student accommodation

“I couldn’t think of a worse idea” were the words of one Leeds resident following news that more student accommodation may be coming to the downtown.

A new 35-storey tower with more than 1,000 apartments to accommodate students could be built at Merrion Centerin a move that could see the mall’s abandoned former cinema demolished.

The project would also potentially involve Wade House, the empty former office building in the center, extended to 15 floors and converted into housing. No town planning application has been submitted, but the promoters present their plans to the municipal councilors for their first opinions.

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However, this comes as the developers recently got permission to shoot two historic city center pubs into 67 student rooms, common lounges and a laundry room. It is also planned to bring student accommodation at the House of Fraser building, in Briggate.

The former Mayaimi Bar nightclub on Merrion Street is being converted into 88 student studios. Work is due to start this summer so that students can move in from 2024.

LeedsLive readers criticized plans to bring more student accommodation to the city centre, with some saying it would see fewer people entering the city centre.

Ann Houghton said: ‘How many more student flats are they going to build when there are plenty of vacancies.’

Kitty Callas said: “I was not a fan of the Merrion Center. But putting student apartments right in the middle of town like wow, you couldn’t think of a worse idea.

Ginnette Bedford said: “Building all the apartments for students, why? fewer people will go to Leeds, and the remaining business side will shrink.

Michael Hoyland said, “How can students afford downtown accommodation? House of Fraser is due to be redeveloped to make way for student apartments too, what is happening to Leeds city centre? »

Not everyone agreed, however, and some approved of the plans that would see the cinema at Merrion Center used. The cinema was built in 1964, but closed after only 13 years of operation. It has stood empty for the past 45 years.

Emma Stanford added: “Well, about time something was done with that! It hasn’t been used since before I was even born, and I’m almost 40!

Kieren Balkwill said: “To be fair, the cinema has been empty since the 70s. Probably a little late to consider using the site for anything else.

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