�150m Victoria Gate scheme firms up plans for rooftop restaurants

Earlier this year, the property business engaged in pre-application discussions with Leeds City Council, outlining its intention to extend the southern block of Victoria Gate to create two restaurant units at roof level. The submitted scheme, which would be accessed via a large shared spiral staircase or lifts, reflects the outcome of those discussions.

In plans, drawn up by Bilfinger GVA, an 11,300 sq ft (1,053 sq m) development is proposed across two separate units, although the internal layout has been worked up so that it can be used flexibly for one or more occupiers. In July, Hammerson said it was in negotiations with high-end operators about two rooftop restaurants.

Each unit includes an external and landscaped terrace area fronting onto George Street and measuring 485 sq ft (45 sq m) and 475 sq ft (44 sq m). The terraces allow for views towards the south of the city, including the grade I-listed Kirkgate Market building.

A design statement prepared by architects practice, ACME, has revealed images of the potential view from inside the restaurants. ACME highlights how similar opportunities for rooftop restaurants have proven to be successful in Leeds and other cities both in the UK and overseas.

Substantial areas of glazing are envisaged to maximise the benefit of the views across the city.

Much of the structure of the Victoria Gate Arcade has been erected, including the southern block, and the external cladding is being applied. The development is expected to open in the autumn of 2016.

Hammerson is working with construction contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and the council to deliver the scheme.

Work started in April 2014 on the retail development, which will house one of the largest John Lewis stores outside of London. The detailed designs also include a casino, a multi-storey car park for up to 800 cars, and the Victoria Gate Arcade which will be home to 30 stores, restaurants, cafes and leisure space.