Leeds Council advises Bramley Shopping Centre owners to reinstate all 22 benches
Leeds City Council has advised the owners of Bramley Shopping Centre to reinstate all 22 of the benches that were removed from the site.
The benches were suddenly removed from the centre in early June, sparking anger from local residents.
The decision was made by the new owners LCP, a commercial property and investment company that purchased the retail park for £10m.
LCP, who manage the centre on behalf of the landlord Sheet Anchor, announced that it would reinstate some of the benches at the site in August.
However, Bramley campaign group A Place to Sit criticised the decision, stating that it is "not enough".
At the time, a spokeswoman said: "We’re pleased to hear back from LCP Group after hundreds of emails, letters and tweets from residents, local organisations, Ward Councillors, and the West Leeds MP.
"The proposal to reinstate eight benches is a start but it is not enough.
"It leaves major gaps across the centre and doesn’t accommodate the needs of people who can’t walk easily over longer distances.
"LCP Group must reinstate all of the 22 benches they removed, and consult local people about the style of bench they propose, in order to make Bramley Shopping Centre welcoming to customers once again, especially those with disabilities, long-term health conditions, and older community members.
"We are calling on national retailers based at Bramley Shopping Centre to stand up for their customers on this issue.
"We are calling on LCP Group to respond with a better plan; and we cordially invite LCP Group to meet with representatives from A Place to Sit to find a resolution that meets everyone’s needs.”
A spokesperson for Leeds City Council has confirmed that officers sent a letter to the landowner on September 16.
In the letter, it stated that the removal of the benches breached the 2015 planning application.
A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “The council can confirm that it sent a letter regarding this matter to the registered landowner on September 16.
“The letter reminded the landowner that when planning permission was granted in 2015 for changes to the car park at the shopping centre, a site layout plan indicated that benches would be located within its pavement areas.
“The landowner was therefore advised to reinstate the benches and given a month from the date of the letter to comply with the council’s request.”
LCP has been contacted for comment.