Construction Enquirer News Planning go-ahead for 32-storey Merrion Street skyscraper

Plans have been approved to build a 32-storey student tower on a former Santander bank site in the heart of Leeds.

The £100m scheme has been designed by architect Simpson Haugh for developer Merrion Street Leeds, owned by Real Estate Capital Holdings.

The proposed at 44 Merrion Street development will provide a mix of undergraduate and postgraduate student accommodation with associated ancillary facilities.

A total of 87 self-contained postgraduate studios and 573 undergraduate bed spaces.

The client team of the 100m tall building includes project manager Paragon and WSP as structural and building services engineer.

Richard Cutler, director of Merrion Street Leeds, said: “The redevelopment of 44 Merrion Street will bring a world-class tall building to the city, help to meet the need for student accommodation from the 60,000 students in the universities and colleges of Leeds, and generate much needed construction jobs and permanent jobs in the process.”

Ian Simpson, founding partner of SimpsonHaugh, added: “Tall buildings are markers for ambition, pride and confidence. They tell a story about a city and its direction of travel and in turn attract people to both visit and put down roots.

“It is very pleasing to be awarded planning for a 32-storey tower in the current market where investment injections are needed to stimulate the economy.

“Once built, this evocative, sculptural crystalline form will become home to 660 students, many of whom will hopefully choose to permanently reside in the city region following their graduation.”

The main glazed tower will sit on a brick-clad five storey podium

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