The changing face of the skyline of Leeds

The new John Lewis store takes shape in Leeds City Centre.

The new John Lewis store takes shape in Leeds City Centre.

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Civic chiefs have hit out at proposals for a “Hollywood” style sign on top of a new major flagship department store in Leeds city centre.

Leeds Civic Trust has objected to plans John Lewis Partnership has submitted for a two-and-a-half metre sign on top of the building claiming it will “clutter” the cityscape of Leeds.

The Yorkshire Evening Post today takes a look at some of the major buildings that have caused debate over altering the city’s skyline over the years.

BRIDGEWATER PLACE

The city’s skyline was dramatically altered with the arrival of Leeds’ tallest office and residential building - Bridgewater Place.

A huge 75-metre, 12-tonne crane was installed on the site in 2004 to cope with the mammoth task of building the 32-storey building dubbed “The Dalek”.

The 105m high development stands at the corner of Water Lane and Victoria Road, close to Leeds City Station and was officially opened in 2007.

But the skyscraper’s arrival on the city skyline has been marred by controversy.

Work is finally underway on a scheme designed to ease the perilous wind tunnel effect at the skyscraper.

The area around the base of Bridgewater Place can be gripped by the wind tunnel effect during stormy conditions.

Pedestrian Edward Slaney, from Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, was crushed to death by a truck that was blown off its wheels close to the building in 2011.

Work on the safety scheme was at one stage scheduled to begin in August last year.

FLOOD LIGHTS

At the height of 260 feet the floodlights at Elland Road, which were sited at the stadium in 1974, were the tallest in Europe.

But the striking structures were replaced with lower profile lighting by 1994 following the construction of the ground’s towering East Stand.

LUMIER AND CENTRAL SQUARE

They were billed as Leeds’s very own twin skyscrapers set to dominate the city’s skyline.

The £225m Lumiere development on Wellington Street was planned to stand 54 and 32 storeys high on land next to the former Royal Mail building, itself now transformed into apartments.

At 560ft - and 6in - at its highest point, Lumiere was at the time set to become the UK’s tallest building outside London and the tallest residential building in Western Europe.

Construction work on the much-trumpeted scheme began in December 2007 but by the summer of the following year it had stalled due to the credit crunch.

But the site is being transformed into Central Square.

The £100m, 11-storey development takes over the old Lumiere site and will have more than 200,000 sq feet of space, including an impressive atrium with a winter garden, restaurants and cafes.

The skyscraper will also have a rooftop “sky garden” and outside terrace.

The building, sandwiched between Wellington Street and Whitehall Road near the rail station, has already been partly pre-let to accountants PwC.

KISSING TOWERS

The proposed £115m Criterion Place development, known as the “kissing towers” skyscrapers fell victim to the credit crunch.

The site on Sovereign Street was previously home to the Queens Hall, a tram depot-turned-concert venue, that was demolished in 1989.

The ambitious scheme involved the construction of a 47-storey tower next to a 27-storey tower and provide 301 apartments, a 161-bed hotel, shops and parking.

Planning permission was granted for the Sovereign Square development to regenerate the key city centre spot.

Accounting giant KPMG moved into its new eye-catching offices on the site last year.

THE BIG WHEEL

It helped to offer a bird’s eye view of Leeds city centre and beyond from a dizzying height of almost 60 metres.

The Observation Wheel Leeds rolled into the city in the car park between George Street and Union Street in 2013.

The impressive structure, which previously attended both the Olympics and Royal wedding celebrations, had 40 fully-enclosed and illuminated gondolas carrying up to six passengers.

AND NOT FORGETTING - THE BRICK MAN

Anthony Gormley, the man who designed the Angel of the North, came up with an idea for a giant Brick Man sculpture for Leeds in the 1980s.

He wanted the proposed 120ft-high sculpture to occupy a high-profile gateway site near Leeds City Station.

In the event, however, the council refused to grant it planning permission following a campaign of opposition led, in part, by the YEP.

The only thing that did get made in the end was a 6ft model of the Brick Man, which has been on show at Leeds Art Gallery.

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