Leeds Kirkgate Market plans could get green light today

Kirkgate Market.

Kirkgate Market.

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CONTROVERSIAL plans for a £12million revamp of Leeds Kirkgate Market could get the go ahead today, despite campaigners voicing their concerns.

Planning chiefs will meet today to discuss the proposals, which include a new daily covered market, events space and a ‘day-night’ market area.

As previously reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, the disruption expected during the refurbishment work has caused major concern amongst traders and shoppers.

Despite council bosses announcing earlier this year that they would reduce traders’ rents by 20 per cent to compensate for the disruption, there are still fears for the future.

Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market (FOLKM) has submitted an objection to the plans.

In a statement on their website, FOLKM said: “The big changes proposed for Kirkgate Market amount to dozens of traders, perhaps up to 50 or more – the council has never revealed this figure – being permanently or temporarily displaced.

“As a result, FOLKM knows, at least more than half of them are leaving the market.”

FOLKM has also voiced concerns over the ‘bidding’ process for new stalls and the size and location of them.

According to the report, FOLKM’s objection added: “The proposal presents genuine threats to the market’s future survival as a community hub.

“The proposed functional changes [...] will have a significant and detrimental impact on the important cultural, ethic and social diversities of the market for both present and future generations.”

Another objection said: “The events space is utter fantasy and is not geared towards the common person, but towards the potential John Lewis customer.”

However, the planning report says there is a need to improve the building and increase footfall to the historic site.

FOLKM will be attending the City Plans Panel meeting, which will be held at Leeds Civic Hall at 1.30pm today.

Also being discussed at the meeting tomorrow will be a planning application for the former YEP site on Wellington Street.

Planning chiefs will discuss proposals to turn the site into a mixed-use scheme involving offices, residential or hotel space plus a range of other uses.

There are also plans for basement car parking, public open space and changes to access junctions.

The former building was opened in 1970 by Prince Charles and housed more than 1,300 staff.

It was designed from 1968-1970 by John Madin, who was the architect of a number of significant buildings in the 1960s, including BBC Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham.

The building was sold last year to a private investor.