YEP Says (Feb 3): We’ve waited too long for work on Leeds skyscraper

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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It has seemed an awfully long time coming.

And it is with some irony that, as storm Henry was raging, final plans were under way to resolve once and for all the horrendous problems caused by the now notorious Bridgewater Place.

Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked next week to formally approve the development agreement that includes giving permission for a series of “baffles” to be installed over the road.

Commuters will have cottoned on - due to the diversions in place - that preparatory works are under way at the foot of what should be famed as being Yorkshire’s tallest skyscraper but what has become, frankly, an embarrassment to the city.

The dangers caused by the wind tunnel effect are well known: in 2011 Dr Edward Slaney died when a lorry blew over onto him.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, concedes the improvement project has taken longer than planned. And, as a result, come any wind above 40mph one of the main thoroughfares into the city has been closed.

We learn that once an agreement is in place, work on the full scheme will start in March.

And it’s expected to take 50 weeks. You read that right. An area best avoided for the foreseeable in any weather then, it seems.