Retail Property - Leeds approves plans for USS 27,900 sq m city centre scheme

Leeds City Council has approved plans by Universities Superannuation Scheme for a 27,900 sq m retail scheme in Leeds city centre.

The proposals will transform the dated Trinity and Burton arcades and properties backing on to Commercial Street, Briggate, Boar Lane and Albion Street, creating 70 shop units.

USS owns the freehold to most of the site, but some land assembly will still be required, and this is being opposed by Tops Estates, which is promoting a rival scheme in Albion Street.

But the council is backing the USS proposals, flagging up the scheme as the 'missing jigsaw piece' to fit alongside the Victoria Quarter and The Light.

A condition of the consent is that USS invests£75,000 in improvements to Briggate St and£325,000 towards the Leeds Supertram project

Development of the Trinity Quarter, with the scheme due to open in 2006, follows years of uncertainty, with the major question over the risk it posed for investors.

USS first drew up the plans in 2000, but put them on hold as middle-market retailing slumped. But with sales and turnover in this market picking up, the developers feel the time is right to push ahead.

Leeds councillor Elizabeth Minkin said: 'This development will make Trinity Quarter one of Leeds' flagship shopping destinations.'