Leeds city centre chapel view is 'safe' - planners

A proposed extension to a Leeds shopping centre will not have a bad impact on the view of a city chapel, say planning officers.

Developers behind Trinity West – currently Leeds Shopping Plaza – want to extend the roof on the southern half of the centre to create a large retail store.

Trinity West is part of the Trinity scheme which aims to have 120 units in more than one million square feet of space.

Land Securities, the developer, wants to create a new retail level on the south end of the roof which will vary in height from 4.5 to six metres. The extension will cover 2,500 square metres.

But concerns that the plan will impact on the view of Mill Hill Chapel in City Square have been rejected.

A pre-planning application is due to be put before the city council's city centre plans panel next Wednesday.

Planning officers, in a report on the scheme, have concluded that the proposed extension would not be "over-dominant and monotonous".

The report says: "The architects have worked to try and reduce as much as possible the eaves treatment of the new flat roof.

"This achieves the objectives of reducing as much as possible the mass of the extension, helping it to blend into its background and also prevent visual conflict between it and the ribbon (motif) feature which is to remain the dominant element."

The officers say the height means it will be "almost totally masked by the roof of Mill Hill Chapel and therefore will have very little impact on the view of the Chapel from all but the south western corner of City Square (the eight storeys of Exchange House already forming the backdrop to the church from this point in any case)."

The planning officers, who want to determine whether the scheme can go ahead themselves once a final proposal is received rather than leave it to councillors, say the scheme is in line with government advice on the best use of land.

Trinity Leeds is due to open in early 2013 and a number of businesses have already signed up to the development.