// The former Leeds Debenhams in Briggate will become student flats
// Decision-makers called the new scheme imaginative, sensible & interesting
Plans to convert the former Debenhams store in Leeds city centre into student flats has been approved by a panel of council decision-makers this week.
The plans which had been submitted for the former landmark department store include the redevelopment of the existing building while also adding a rooftop extension.
Members of Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel called the proposals, which include more than 100 flats and communal spaces as “imaginative”, “sensible” and “interesting”.
The development will include 124 bed spaces in 107 student flats.
Ninety of these will be studio flats, while a further 17 will be duel-occupancy studios.
It followed earlier versions of the plans going before councillors earlier this year, following the closure of Briggate Debenhams.
Four communal areas have been proposed, with a new courtyard wellness garden which would be created in the centre of the former from the second floor up.
Debenhams closed earlier this year after the retailer was a high profile casualty of the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The site has been vacant ever since.
A report into the proposals by Leeds City Council planning officers said: “It is considered that the proposal would result in a high quality, appropriate development.
“The scheme would bring active use to an important historic building and would add to the vibrancy and vitality to the area and furthering its regeneration.”