It was interesting to read the thoughts of some of my fellow councillors on the Sovereign Street green space proposals (“Plans for city centre mini park attacked as ‘not green enough’” – YEP, October 31), suggesting that the Labour-led administration has scaled back on plans to deliver an inclusive green space in the city centre.
Since 2008 the council has progressed proposals for the Sovereign Street site which offers plenty of opportunities both to develop new office space and crucially to compliment that with green space and eventually a new park on the south bank, to be enjoyed by workers and visitors alike. Judging by the plans it now seems that the planned green space would be better termed ‘small grassed area’.
If, as a city, we are truly determined to rival our European counterparts by delivering high quality public space in the city centre we really must do better than this.
Clearly schemes have to be realistic, but we should be looking to deliver something that will be both popular and affordable. New parks and public spaces need to be capable of really impressing visitors as well as being used regularly by people who work and live here.
At the moment the council is going through the LDF process, through which land is allocated for planning purposes for a variety of different uses. Much of the focus has, quite rightly, been on housing and excessive housing targets. However, the LDF process can also be used to identify land for leisure and recreation purposes.
The lack of ambition shown in these initial plans for green space to compliment these new office developments do not bode well for the future – we really must urgently look to deliver new parkland, not just in the city centre, but for people living throughout Leeds.
Coun Andrew Carter, Leader of the Conservative Group