Plans for a new high-end hotel project in central Leeds could spell the end for one of the city’s most well-known curry houses.
Akbar’s Restaurants have become some of the most recognisable establishments in the county, yet it seems their Greek Street premises may not be running much longer if the proposed 90-bedroom hotel receives planning permission.
The work will require the demolition of a derelict mechanical stacker car park and the restaurant – both buildings owned by recently refinanced Evans of Leeds.
An application was submitted to Leeds City Council last year seeking permission for the construction of a luxury hotel, with accommodation provided over 11 floors at a location between Russell Street and Greek Street currently home to the car park and Akbar's restaurant.
The hotel will be ‘high-end’ with a four-star plus accommodation rating and will be operated by Dakota Hotels.
Subject to further detailed approval of the proposed building materials, the hotel will feature a mix of black cladding at ground and first floor and a grey treatment for upper floors in keeping with Dakota's other venues.
Evans, which has partnered with Dakota at other UK locations, owns several properties in the vicinity of Bond Court and is currently in the process of refurbishing Minerva House and also plans to refurbish Capitol House in the near future.
As well as the proposal to demolish the stacker car park and the single storey restaurant, the area of Bond Court will be resurfaced to match the initial phase of works already completed. Various changes to the public highway are also to be carried out on Russell St and Greek St.
The plans have been recommended for approval subject to conditions, including the completion of highway works prior to the opening of the hotel to customers.
In a report to be scrutinised by the council's planning committee, the existing area is said to be blighted by the presence of the stacker car park which has now fallen in to disrepair and is no longer used.
The report adds that as other buildings in this area are being refurbished, there is now an opportunity to upgrade this part of the city centre.
The laying out of a large area of public realm and highway by the applicant, as well as the creation of a new pedestrian route, has been welcomed by planners and the proposal will generate employment opportunities both during the construction and operational phases once opened to the public.