When WHSmith planned to open one of the biggest stores in Leeds

It was an ambitious proposal which involved the demolition of Victorian shops and offices at the corner of Lands Lane and Albion Place.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:46 am
PIC: YPN
PIC: YPN

This photo rewinds to July 1985 when WHSmith unveiled plans to create one the biggest new stores in the city.

The retail giant, retaining some of the existing facade, wanted to build a three-storey shop from 3 to 7a Lands Lane and at 30 Albion Place as well as extending into the former County Court building in Albion Place for which planning approval had already been granted.

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The scheme followed in the footsteps of a previous plan by WHSmith's to extend from its existing Commercial Street store backwards into the County Court building hit problems because of existing rights of way between the two buildings.

Planning officer Chris Stocks said: "It is a significant proposal, because it envisages the demolition of the corner building."

Your YEP reported how, if approved, the scheme would put a question mark over the future of the existing Commericial Street store which would not be joined to the new development.

A previous planning consent had already been granted in October 1983 to Town Centre Supplies to demolish the Lands Lane/Albion Place corner, with the existing frontage being retained.

Planners also insisted that the 116-year-old County Court frontage should be retained in any redevelopment.

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