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Former newspaper office to be demolished after all

The former offices of the Yorkshire Post are set to be demolished after all despite speculation they could be converted to student flats.

A report in the Estates Gazette last week said the Leeds city centre building had been sold for £2m to a Yorkshire businessman who planned to turn the offices into accommodation for the city’s growing student population.

But the Yorkshire Evening Post has described the speculation as “well wide of the mark.”

It has reported that the building it shared with the YP until last year is expected to be demolished and the land used for a landmark office development.

The YEP confirmed that a sale had taken although it did not confirm the £2m figure given by the Estates Gazette.

It said the Wellington Street property had been purchased “by a private investor following considerable interest from prospective buyers.”

“The new owner is expected to go ahead with plans to demolish the building and use the land for what has been described as a ‘major gateway office development’ amid signs of recovery in the Leeds office market.

“Speculation that the land is to be used for a complex of flats focused on the growing city centre student market is  understood by the YEP to be well wide of the mark.

As reported earlier this year, an application has been made to the city council to allow demolition of the building to take place and that is expected to be carried out following the change of ownership.

Although seen by some as a prime example of “bruatlist” architecture, English Heritage declined to give the building listed status, a move that would have forced the new owner to preserve it in something approaching its current form.

Paul Fox, from Leeds property consultants Fox Lloyd Jones, which oversaw the sale of the building, said: “This site has the potential to be one of the most important inward investment redevelopment sites in the north of England.”

The building was opened in 1970 and remained the home of the YEP and sister newspaper the Yorkshire Post until 2012 when staff moved to new offices on Whitehall Road.