Waiting game continues over safety scheme at Leeds skyscraper

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The start date of work on a multi-million pound scheme designed to ease the dangerous ‘wind tunnel’ effect at Leeds city centre’s Bridgewater Place skyscraper remains unclear – nearly two months after the project received the planning green light.

Site owner CPPI Bridgewater Place Limited Partnership yesterday told the Yorkshire Evening Post that it was not in a position to say when the scheme would be getting under way.

A spokeswoman for the firm said the plans involved a complex tendering process.

She also stressed that a statement outlining how the scheme would be taken forward was expected “very soon”.

Members of Leeds City Council’s city plans panel gave CPPI’s safety proposals the thumbs-up at a meeting on November 20.

The firm originally unveiled its proposals for Bridgewater Place as long ago as January last year.

At the time, it said the construction of the planned system of wind-deflecting barriers and screens at the skyscraper 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.

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

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 YEP revealed last year that each closure of the Water Lane-Neville Street-Victoria Road junction was costing the local authority between £2,000 and £3,000.

Shutdowns earlier this month left drivers facing lengthy delays during the morning rush-hour.

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