Start date for safety work at Leeds’s Bridgewater Place remains unclear

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The start date for a scheme designed to ease the dangerous ‘wind tunnel’ effect at Leeds city centre’s Bridgewater Place skyscraper remains unclear – even though work was at one stage due to begin last month.

Site owner CPPI Bridgewater Place Limited Partnership announced earlier this year that construction of a series of large-scale barriers and screens at the landmark building was scheduled to get under way in August.

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Today, though, CPPI’s Nick Sinfield told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We are working closely with Leeds City Council to finalise our programme and will be in a position to update residents and tenants shortly.

“We are close to the end of the tendering process which will enable a principal contractor to be appointed.”

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

CPPI originally unveiled its proposals to combat the problem as long ago as January last year.

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At the time, it said construction could take about 12 months to carry out.

Overhead gantry-style barriers – technically known as ‘baffles’ – are due to be installed above Water Lane as part of the project.

A glass canopy will also be put in position at the 32-storey tower’s northern elevation while a perforated metal screen will be placed to its south.

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 the site have repeatedly forced city council bosses to shut streets at Bridgewater Place.

The local authority has also installed a reinforced glass ‘shield’ on the pavement at Great Wilson Street as an interim safety measure.

MP Rachel Reeves.

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