Plans for Vastint UK’s landmark Leeds development, Aire Park, have taken a significant step as planning consent has been granted for the next phase of the scheme.

Leeds City Council has approved plans for a new seven-storey building, which will provide 75,000 sqft of office space and almost 7,000 sqft of flexible ground floor space for local retail, restaurant and amenity businesses.

The new building is located on the corner of Waterloo Street and Hunslet Road, neighbouring the iconic, Tetley building, and will mark the gateway to Aire Park on the approach from Leeds train station and city centre. Work on the building is set to begin later this year.

The building has been designed by architects Cartwright Pickard, with sustainable construction and occupant wellbeing in mind. Manufacturing elements of the structure and façade offsite will help to make the building more environmentally friendly by maximising its thermal performance and reducing waste. The building will target BREEAM Excellent.

Reflecting changes in the world of work due to Covid-19, the ground floor has been designed for a flexible co-working space. Cycle storage and changing facilities promote healthy commuting and active lifestyles and, unlike a sealed air-conditioned office building, opening windows will give tenants control over levels of fresh air.

Floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides of the building will also give office workers 360-degree views across Leeds, providing high levels of natural light and a strong visual connection to the greenery of Aire Park. The building also has a large roof terrace with views across the park and Leeds’ skyline.

A Leeds City Council Planning Officer’s report accompanying the decision said: “The proposals present the next step in the delivery of the built setting to a 21st Century, child-friendly, biodiverse and climate change-adapted City Park for all generations, that would bring significant new pedestrian and cycle connections, the delivery of major office employment space in the South Bank, and the first phases of the regeneration of the Tetley Brewery site, which closed almost ten years ago.”

Plans have already been approved for additional commercial space, the restoration and expansion of the former Crown Hotel, and the detailed design of the park, as part of the first phase of the development.