Leeds skyscraper safety plan is given the green light

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A major scheme designed to tame the dangerous ‘wind tunnel’ effect at Leeds’s Bridgewater Place skyscraper has been given the go-ahead by council planners.

Members of Leeds City Council’s city plans panel today approved the safety proposals, drawn up by site owner CPPI Bridgewater Place Limited Partnership.

The scheme will see a complex system of barriers and screens being installed at the landmark 32-storey tower, where accidents have been caused during stormy weather by powerfully whipped-up winds.

CPPI now has three months to provide a start date for the project as well as other timescale details.

It says construction work will take about a year to complete.

Coun Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, said: “I’m delighted that members of the city plans panel were satisfied that this scheme offers the best solution to solving the wind issues at Bridgewater Place, since the council has been pressing for a very long time for this to be resolved.

“Now we look forward to the owners bringing back their detailed schedule to us so that work can start as soon as possible on providing permanent protection, whatever the weather, for everyone passing through one of Leeds’s busiest junctions.”

CPPI’s Nick Sinfield also welcomed the decision, saying: “We will now work hard to deliver the scheme as quickly as possible.”

Overhead gantry-style barriers will be installed above Water Lane as part of the project.

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.

Concerns over safety at Bridgewater Place have repeatedly forced council bosses to shut nearby streets during bad weather.

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