Start date for long-awaited safety scheme at Leeds skyscraper

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Work on a scheme designed to ease the perilous ‘wind tunnel’ effect at Leeds city centre’s Bridgewater Place skyscraper will not begin until August – nine months after the project received planning approval.

Site owner CPPI Bridgewater Place Limited Partnership today (Feb 23) confirmed the summer start date for the construction of a series of large-scale barriers and screens at the landmark 32-storey building.

The company has previously said the multi-million pound work could take as long as 12 months to complete.

A spokeswoman for CPPI told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Since receiving planning permission in November 2014, CPPI has been working with Leeds City Council to bring the wind mitigation scheme for Bridgewater Place forward as quickly as possible.

“We are currently undergoing a complex and lengthy tendering process to find a suitable contractor for this unique project.

“It is incredibly important to us to find the right contractor for the job and there are several time-consuming procedures that must be completed in order to do this.

“We have now submitted further information regarding construction to Leeds City Council and have informed them that the construction work is scheduled to begin in August 2015.

“In the coming months we will be providing more information and a detailed construction timetable.”

The area around the base of Bridgewater Place can be gripped by the wind tunnel effect during stormy conditions.

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.

The council is close to finishing work on a reinforced glass ‘shield’ on the pavement at Great Wilson Street as an interim safety measure to help tackle the Bridgewater Place problems.