New plans for the tallest building in Leeds have been approved – just days after work on the project was halted.
Developers want to increase both the height and living accommodation in the 155m Lumiere scheme on Wellington Street.
Construction workers moved off the site earlier this month as the credit crunch started to bite – although a spokesman for KW Linfoot insisted the move was only temporary.
Now Linfoot has been given permission to amend the scheme to meet market conditions. The changes are as follows:
* The taller tower will rise to 55 storeys instead of 54;
* The smaller will be 33 storeys high, not 32;
* The number of living units will rise from 838 to 952;
* There is a revised design for the Winter Garden.
The city centre plans panel gave the go-ahead in principle.
Members asked planning officers to liaise with the developer to tidy up the site during the building pause.
Coun Neil Taggart (Lab, Bramley) said: "This remains an iconic and exciting scheme. Some people in Leeds think it's dead. But I have told them: 'No, no, it's on hold'.
"The fact that we are treating this plan seriously today shows that.
"When it is finished it will be marvellous and will be the envy of many."
Panel chairman Martin Hamilton said: "The additional floors make this scheme more viable. This suggests the developers want to go ahead with it when it stacks up financially.
"If it takes two or three more years to see the building, it will be
well worth waiting for."
Planning officer Rob Buchan said the height of the towers would be increased by only a metre.
The developer wanted to increase the number of smaller units (one-bedroom flats) to reflect market conditions.
The Winter Garden would be given a triangular format and would have more glass and be lighter and more open.
Coun James Monaghan (Lib Dem, Headingley) said he was disappointed that the number of two-bed flats was being reduced. "But we have to recognise they have to build units that can be sold," he said.
"I hope they can get on with it soon and that the economy picks up."