Stage one of yet another attempt to build tall buildings off Bridge Street in Leeds has been submitted to the local council and features a re-clad of the former British Gas tower, once mooted to be demolished but still standing today.
Designed by Simpson Haugh and Partners, the latest name for Ian Simpson's firm, the project features the defunct sixties building built by British Gas being gutted and refitted into an overwhelmingly grey three star hotel as the first phase of what will see a number of other buildings constructed.
New York Road to one side of the 2.45 acre site is a busy route through Leeds city centre, and the plans recognise this with a perimeter block along the roadside retained. The purpose of this is presumably to shield the rest of the site from the traffic noise and pollution with this spare land functioning originally as a hotel car park.
With this constructed then a further three towers plus landscaped grounds can be built behind bounding Gower Street with a fourth set back from a small public plaza on the corner of New York Road and Regent Street. the maximum height of these towers will be about 35 storeys, completely dominating the existing 14-floor BG building although these heights are merely guide heights at present and the towers may end up shorter.
Unfortunately, whilst Leeds has a good record of approving tall buildings, very few large developments ever get realised. Although the renovation of the existing tower is going ahead it should be interesting to see if the developer is in for the long haul.