Together with a team of architects and consultants, we have come up with a scheme we believe will work on the Whitelock Street site, following consultation with the public, local stakeholders, and Leeds City Council. Our proposals are set out below.

Why Leeds?

The number of students studying in Leeds has increased by 45% since 2000. The city has the fifth highest number of students in England, 15% of which are overseas students, who are more likely to live in PBSA.

Taking into consideration other upcoming developments that are either under construction or have been approved by the council, by 2023 PBSA will provide for only 49.5% of students in the city. The University of Leeds alone recognises in its Masterplan the need for 1,000 bed spaces provided on or near campus by 2025.

The Site

The site is ideally located within short walking and cycling distance to almost all of Leeds’ Higher Education Institutions as illustrated in the image below.

The site is located between Whitelock Street, Sheepscar Street South (A61) and Sheepscar Grove to the north of Leeds City Centre. The site also has the Sheepscar Beck river running to the north of the site. The site is close to local amenities such as Aldi, Waitrose, and the Eagle Tavern.

As shown in the photos below, the current site is in need of redevelopment. The site is currently occupied by worn-down buildings and vacant space which is prone to fly tipping, has poor street lighting and does not offer anything back to the community.

The open space on the site attracts rubbish.

There are empty units on site.

Current buildings are outdated and run down.

Our Proposals

Following positive discussions with the council we have developed proposals that we believe will greatly enhance the area.

The proposals include:

  • A six and part seven storey building with good quality architecture and entrances from Whitelock Street
  • 411 bedrooms for students in a range of studios and cluster flats
  • Student amenities including a gym, cinema, and laundry
  • Artists’ studios, and workshop and exhibition space for emerging local artists

To create a sense of place, the proposals will also provide:

  • 1258 sq/m of outdoor space
  • A west facing roof terrace with wide views of the city
  • A landscaped courtyard at ground level
  • Six external parking spaces, including two accessible

Our proposals aim to dramatically improve the streetscape with tree planting, new pavements, active building frontages, and good quality architecture. Our plans will not only benefit the residents of the new building, but residents and businesses in the surrounding area.

Sustainability and Green Space

Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency in March 2019.  We share the Council’s aspirations to deliver a sustainable development. This scheme aims to surpass the energy and climate change requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. 

This development will include greenery both on the roof terrace and in the courtyard, as well as planting trees along the street, improving air quality along Whitelock Street. Below are sketches of our plans for green space in the development. 

Art Workshops

Alumno have a reputation of including art in their developments. The proposals for Whitelock Street include ground floor workshops for local artists as well as a specially commissioned public sculpture in the main courtyard and a poem along the Sheepscar Beck wall. 

We are working with Leeds based East Street Arts to integrate the artists’ workshops, drawing on their long experience in the city. The workshops, along with exhibition space, will be available for young and emerging local artists. 


We submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council in May 2020. Depending on the decision we get from the council, we aim to start construction at the end of the year. 

Friday 14 February 2020 – Public consultation event

May 2020 – Planning application submitted

Late 2020 – Construction begins on site