Plans for 9 Wellington Place have taken a major step forward after being given positive backing by Leeds councillors.

Located close to the city’s railway station with views over the River Aire, the 12-storey building will bring hundreds more jobs to Leeds city centre, adding to the thousands already created at the leading urban quarter.

When built, 9 Wellington Place will boast leading design and cutting-edge technologies – making it one of the UK’s most sustainable buildings - across its 176,413 sq ft of office and 6,851 sq ft of ground floor retail and leisure space.

The ‘next generation’ building will include advanced control systems to drive low energy use, solar panels generating renewable energy and air source heat pumps to ensure it is as energy efficient as possible. Its exterior will include sustainable building materials such as low carbon compressed basalt rainscreens and cedar timber fins.

Active travel and sustainable transport use will also continue to be encouraged at Wellington Place through the provision of electric vehicle charging points, plentiful bicycle storage and associated changing facilities.

During a pre-application presentation at the latest Leeds City Council City Plans Panel, its members described Wellington Place as ‘a jewel in Leeds’s crown’.

Members unanimously agreed to support the proposals for 9 Wellington Place across a series of areas, including design, scale, landscaping, pedestrian connectivity, and climate change and sustainability.

Members also agreed that the reserved matters planning application for 9 Wellington Place will now be determined by delegated powers rather than being voted on by Leeds City Council’s planning committee, a rare move given the scale of the building.

Paul Pavia, commercial director at MEPC, the developer and asset manager behind Wellington Place, said: “Gaining such favourable endorsements for 9 Wellington Place and the wider Wellington Place development from the City Plans panel is extremely pleasing.

“MEPC and our investors are fully committed to Wellington Place’s long-term future and our approach to 9 Wellington Place is testament to this. It is an example of the best of the next generation of buildings, featuring industry-leading design, and construction which has both sustainability and social responsibility at its heart.

“Alongside number 11 and 12 Wellington Place it will be one of the most sustainable developments in the UK. 9 Wellington Place’s building CO2 emissions rate is set to be 35% less than the Building Regulations target emissions rate, and an additional 15% less than the local planning requirement.

“We’re also working closely with the UK Green Building Council as part of its work around the net zero agenda and fully expect 9 Wellington Place to be one of the most sustainable developments, alongside also rating very highly in industry recognised NABERS, DEC, BREEAM and Fitwell accreditations.

“Alongside sustainability advantages, once completed 9 Wellington Place will bring thousands more regular visitors to the area, new occupiers to the city and wider region, create employment opportunities and be a further catalyst for economic development after what has been a challenging period.

“The City Plans Panel’s endorsement not only demonstrates ongoing confidence in Wellington Place but also in the Leeds city centre office market, which is another positive sign as Covid-19 restrictions further ease.”

Tony O’Brien, partner at Sheppard Robson, the architecture practice behind 9 Wellington Place, added: “9 Wellington Place is set to become another welcome and valuable addition to the wider Wellington Place neighbourhood.

“It brings together the very latest in building design and sustainable construction and we are confident it will not only set the bar for new development but also play an important role in the ongoing rejuvenation of Leeds city centre.”