Former School Set For Major Revamp

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Former School Set For Major Revamp

Former School Set For Major Revamp

A former school building in Leeds city centre is set for a major revamp in order to turn it into luxury apartments.

Developer Priestley has submitted a planning application to the city council for the project, with an expected decision date in late spring. If the plans get the green light, the project will see Leeds getting its first £1 million penthouse apartments.

Located on George Street, the building was due to be turned into a new hotel in 2018, before the scheme fell through. Since then it has lain idle.

Scaffolders in Leeds could be required to help with maintenance and restoration work on the red brick building, ensuring it is in the best external condition to attract buyers while work takes place on the inside to transform the décor and provide outstanding living facilities.

As the building is listed, any work on the outside will be limited to clean-up and repairs, rather than any significant change to the appearance or structure.

Priestley Construction, the main contractor for Priestley Homes, is hoping to start work in the  project once planning permission is granted, with the aim of having the work finished by the fourth quarter of 2022.

Chief executive officer of the Priestley Group Nathan Priestley said: “As a Leeds-based business, it’s great to be able to re-energise one of the grandest buildings in the city centre and transform it into must-have homes.”

He added: “We excel at breathing new life into heritage buildings with ambitious plans that are meticulously realised.”

Mr Priestley suggested that because most residential development in central Leeds has been new projects for student accommodation or private rental schemes, there is a “huge shortage of truly magnificent homes for owner-occupiers that give a taste of individuality and elegance”. He suggested the George Street development will rival developments like One Hyde Park in London.

The plan is also designed to offer the kind of luxury enjoyed by someone who will spend more time at home in an age when people may work at home more, providing a different pattern to city centre living to the previous model where the priority was proximity to places of work.

It may be that this model can be applied in a number of other cities and towns across the north, where the Priestley Group has most of its portfolio. In addition to Leeds, this includes older buildings redeveloped as luxury buildings in Bradford, Holmfirth, Milnrow, Salford, Sunderland and Liverpool, although it does also have a couple of developments in London.

The kind of buildings the group has converted range from former mills to buildings that were previously residential, such as Victorian terraces. In each case, these offer opportunities for urban regeneration as well as providing attractive properties, doing so by repurposing older buildings that can retain their character instead of knocking them down to build new ones.

It could be that scaffolders will be involved in many more restoration projects to come as old buildings are given a new lease of life to become the luxury homes of tomorrow in Leeds.