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Leeds city centre mini-park images revealed

The central Sovereign Square area.

The central Sovereign Square area.

  • by Paul Robinson
 

Yorkshire Evening Post readers are today given the first glimpse of the stylish look planned for a new ‘mini-park’ in the centre of Leeds.

Proposals to create a welcome piece of green space on land at Sovereign Street have been in the pipeline for the last two years.

Now bosses at Leeds City Council have submitted a formal planning application for their £2.5m scheme.

And, to mark that milestone, computer-generated images of how the half-a-hectare mini-park could shape up have been released to the YEP.

Key elements of the scheme include:

* A tree-lined pedestrian boulevard called ‘The Raingarden’;

* A central area named Sovereign Square, with seating where people would be able to work, relax and socialise;

* A water feature with jets capable of creating different visual effects.

A new council report predicts the project would bring “significant economic, environmental and social advantages” to the city centre.

The report goes on: “It would act as a catalyst for attracting and sustaining regeneration and connectivity”.

It also raises the prospect of the landscaped space becoming a “21st century Park Square”.

The site earmarked for the scheme has been used as a car park since the demolition of the Queens Hall concert venue in 1989.

Plans were put forward in 2004 to make the land the home of a £115m ‘kissing towers’ development called Criterion Place but it later fell victim to the credit crunch.

The proposed mini-park would neighbour new offices for accountancy firm KPMG that are due to be built on another part of the Sovereign Street site.

Work on the four-storey building – the first major office development in the middle of Leeds for more than five years – is expected to get under way next summer.

Council bosses also want the mini-park to act as a forerunner for a larger piece of city centre green space south of the River Aire.

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