19-storey hotel and offices could be built next to Bridgewater Place

Provisional plans for a new 19-storey hotel on the southern edge of Leeds city centre will be publicly aired for the first time this week.

By David Spereall, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:30 pm

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Developers Southside Leeds want to put up a hotel next to Bridgewater Place in Holbeck, alongside four new office blocks, which would range from nine to 12 storeys high.

The proposed scheme would see the demolition of a disused office building on Water Lane, which was first put up in the 1980s, to make way.

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Developers Southside Leeds want to put up a hotel next to Bridgwater Place in Holbeck, alongside four new office blocks, which would range from nine to 12 storeys high.

City councillors will offer their first impressions of the idea at a plans panel meeting on Thursday.

No decision on the scheme will be made imminently, however, as the developers have yet to submit a formal planning application.

But a report prepared by council officers ahead of the meeting glowingly described the provisional plans as a “Significant opportunity to regenerate a large prominently located vacant brownfield city centre site.”

It added, “The proposal would deliver new employment, visitor accommodation, public landscaped greenspace, new pedestrian and cycle connections and support the continuing regeneration of this area of the city centre.”

The hotel would provide space for more than 200 guests, while basement parking would be provided for office workers driving and cycling into work.

The report also warned that the developers would have to consider wind mitigation measures, given its location.

It follows several serious incidents around Bridgewater Place after it was built in 2007, which saw a “wind tunnel effect” take hold around the building during gusty weather, causing chaos.

The problem was blamed for the death of one man and severe injuries inflicted on many other pedestrians.

The council installed wings, or “baffles”, on the building in 2017 to negate the effect.

The report said that due to the heights of the buildings, “The development will need to ensure that wind conditions are fully addressed.

It added that council policy dictates that, “Proposals for a tall building should consider designs that mitigate the effects of westerly winds on Water Lane and Victoria Road.”