Leeds Eastgate plan - ‘ugly’ car park warning

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Developers behind a major shopping development in the heart of Leeds have been told by councillors to produce a high-quality multi-storey car park as part of the scheme.

Hammerson intends to submit a planning application for phase one of the Eastgate-Harewood Quarter development in late spring or early summer next year.

Phase one to be built between Eastgate and Kirkgate Market will include a John Lewis store, multi-storey car park and two arcades with glazed roofs.

Initial proposals were presented to the council’s city plans panel and members sounded a warning about the multi-storey car park.

The Millgarth police headquarters building will be demolished to make way for the development and Coun Neil Taggart, panel chairman, told the developers: “At the moment you see a carbuncle which is the police station and you want to put a car park on part of that site.

“If it looks like a ruddy car park we won’t be happy. It needs to be of a high-quality design.”

Coun Peter Gruen (Lab, Cross Gates and Whinmoor) said it was a prestigious development and added: “Our expectations are high.

“To people of my generation, multi-storey car park often means something that’s dirty and smelly.

“We want you to set a standard for future multi-storey car park and produce something that does not look like the average multi-storey car park.”

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Joe Swindells, project director, said the aim was to produce a scheme befitting such a key site and Hammerson had no intention of building an ugly car park alongside the John Lewis store.

People will be given a chance to have their say on the phase one proposals in February when Hammerson hold a public consultation event.

Work on the scheme could start in 2014 with John Lewis opening in 2016.

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