First look at viaduct proposals

The arches of the viaduct of Whitehall Road in Leeds could be turned into space for shops, cafes and bars. Picture: Google Maps
The arches of the viaduct of Whitehall Road in Leeds could be turned into space for shops, cafes and bars. Picture: Google Maps
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Plans for a Parisian-style development transforming a Victorian viaduct on the edge of the city centre have been tabled for the first time.

Applicant ART PRS Leeds GP Limited presented the pre-application plans to develop the railway viaduct on Whitehall Road to councillors.

Visualisations along with glimpses of the layout and practicality were discussed at the City Plans Panel meeting yesterday.

The early plans - similar to riverside schemes implemented in Paris, New York and Sydney - include refurbishing and repairing the Grade II listed viaduct, the creation of a public park and a mix of commercial units inside the arches.

There also plans for up to 567 apartments spanning across five buildings at the neighbouring Doncaster Monkbridge site

Representatives for the applicants, present during the meeting, said the development aims to open up the waterfront space on the edge of the city.

Coun Neil Walshaw was among the majority of councillors who welcomed the early plans.

He said: “I think there’s a well-developed emerging design rationale for this and I think I’ve seen a lot of positive in what I’ve heard so far and I don’t think we should lose sight of that.”

Concerns were raised by members of the panel about the mix of apartments, and parking spaces at the site under the early plans.

The applicants said they would take on board what the panel said during the meeting and return with an application.

They hope to start work in July, 2017, if approved.

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