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Carlton Hill prepares to welcome first students as Pickard Properties celebrates the completion of Leeds’s landmark student accommodation development

Pickard Properties directors, Miles Pickard, Catherine Coleman and Simon Pickard, at the newly completed Carlton Hill

Pickard Properties is celebrating the completion of its most ambitious and significant student accommodation development it its 50-year history, Carlton Hill.

The 604-bed, purpose-built apartment development, close to the city centre and both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett has been completed to welcome students for the 2023-24 academic year, which begins later this month.

Pickard Properties, which has a portfolio of around 300 residential properties it owns and lets, will retain ownership of Carlton Hill and has reached agreement with student charity and operator Unipol, which will lease and manage the site for the University of Leeds.

One of the most sustainable new student schemes in the city, having secured an EPC A rating, Carlton Hill aims to reduce carbon emissions, both in terms of the buildings’ construction and operation, together with taking advantage of its location.


It is an all-electric development that is future proofed to benefit from continued growth of renewable energy supplies. In addition, from the outset almost half of its power requirements will be provided by low or zero carbon technologies, including from a large solar PV array and Air Source Heat Pumps.

Carlton Hill supports Leeds City Council’s ’20-minute neighbourhood’ initiative. It has been designed to have no car parking for residents to encourage the use of sustainable local transport and has extensive pedestrian access and routes to the city centre and the close by universities.

The development has also been designed to encourage student wellbeing Carlton Hill offers high quality living and social spaces for residents with larger than standard bedrooms and living spaces, a well-equipped gym and incorporates several fully landscaped ‘sky gardens’ as well as a roof terrace to allow for social activities, fresh air and relaxation.

Carlton Hill replaces a 239-bed student accommodation block, which was also owned by Pickard Properties and was demolished to make way for this new contemporary scheme.

It was designed by Halliday Clark Architects, based in Ilkley, and built by Leeds-based GMI Construction. The scheme was project managed by Fox Lloyd Jones with planning consultancy advice provided by Quod, which are both based in Leeds City Centre.

The developer has a long-standing involvement in student accommodation in the city and has worked closely with Unipol Student Homes, which will lease the building for exclusive use by students attending the University of Leeds.

Carlton Hill is also representative of the high-quality Leeds schemes in its portfolio, which are helping to transform the city’s skyline and form part of Pickard Properties’ wider construction and regeneration activities across the North of England.

Miles Pickard, director of Pickard Properties, said: “Carlton Hill sets the standard for modern student accommodation that is appealing to tenants, not only because of its location, and focus on mental and physical well-being, but also because it’s a green and sustainable building.

“We are exceptionally proud that it has secured the highest EPC rating for a commercial/residential building, which is testament to the efforts of the development team, from our project managers and architects, through to our construction partner and its predominantly local supply chain.”

He added: “We have been part of the student accommodation sector in Leeds for half a century and Carlton Hill demonstrates our commitment to continuing to provide the highest quality, sustainable properties in the city.

“We are looking forward to seeing the first students arrive and make Carlton Hill their home as they begin their studies at our wonderful city’s outstanding universities.”

Andrew Hurcomb, divisional director of GMI Construction, said: “We are exceptionally proud to have been part of this landmark development, which represents the future of student accommodation in Leeds. Carlton Hill builds on our track record in the UK student living sector and highlights our capabilities to deliver sustainable and environmentally focused projects in close partnership with developers such as Pickard Properties and by utilising a predominately local supply chain.”

Daniel Jamieson, Director of Fox Lloyd Jones, said: “FLJ is pleased to have acted on behalf of longstanding client Pickard Properties throughout this entire transaction, from initial pre-let deal with Unipol through to delivery of this wonderful scheme.

“The entire project team has worked fantastically together to deliver Carlton Hill providing students with a state-of-the-art accommodation, with fantastic added details such as roof terraces, sky gardens and larger than average bedrooms. Delivery of such scheme within budget and programme is a credit to all involved.”

Richard Walsh, director, Halliday Clark Architects, said: “At Carlton Hill, we were driven to providing an environmentally conscious and high level of design, which is not only inclusive and accessible but with particular focus on addressing the health and wellbeing needs of students. We feel it is critical to ensure students have safe and secure spaces, in addition to their own study bedroom where they can form positive associations during their formative years.

“We have had the benefit of working with the client team for more than 25 years on various student living projects and have a legacy attachment to this particular site, having now replaced the lower density student accommodation scheme, which we designed in 2001. We are so proud to see the fantastic result of a lot of hard work put in by so many talented people.”

Tim Waring, Senior Director, Quod, said: “During these times when there is a clear and compelling need for more homes in the City, Quod are pleased to have supported Pickard’s team in delivering planning consent for this high quality, health and wellness led, addition to the purpose-built student homes market in Leeds.”