Architects PRP and Broadway Malyan were called in after the original design for the scheme was withdrawn from the planning process. There had been local opposition to the high density of housing proposed.
The scheme is being jointly developed by English Partnerships and Aire Regeneration Partnership, which includes Aire Design, Miller Homes and Gleeson Homes.
Masterplan architect Doug Clelland, senior partner in Aire Design, has been retained on the project.
Clelland played down the role of the new architect. He said: “It’s the procurement we don’t want to get involved with. Whoever is chosen will be brought in to work solely on the procurement aspects of the project.
“But there will be some overlap with the detailed design work we are currently carrying out. Exactly what the overlap will be is being explored at the moment.” However, sources close to the project said: “We understand the additional architectural input will cover everything from detailed design through to production.” It is understood that the winner of the competition will become involved in the project long term.
A source at Leeds City Council confirmed that Aire Regeneration Partnership failed to submit plans to council planners last month.
Criticism of the project has centred around the number of homes proposed. The original scheme was for almost 600, in line with Lord Rogers’ urban taskforce call for high-density housing, but councillors and local MP Colin Burgon called for the proposals to be scaled down to fewer than 500.
However, English Partnerships’ millennium communities director David Shelton said: “The application will now be presented in the next few weeks and will be in the joint names of English Partnership and the Aire consortium. EP has to have the ability to manage the project.”
Shelton added: “We got out of sequence with the environmental impact assessment and the transportation impact assessment. After discussion, we decided that everything should go forward as a package.”
Sue Speak, principal planning officer at Leeds council, said: “We understand that the balance of offices to housing is being looked at again.
This was confirmed by English Partnerships. Shelton said: “We have looked again at the commercial input into the project and have received interest from a number of call centre companies, as well as local businesses. We are confident we will be able to deliver the 400 jobs envisaged at the outset.”