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Lumiere Planning Consent Withdrawn

The planned Ian Simpson designed towers for Leeds, the Lumiere, have hit a major speed bump in the form of the refusal by the local council to approve the latest revisions the developer wishes to make to the scheme.

The problems refer to a decision made in July 2008 by the council's planning committee to permit a number of changes to the tower to add apartments to it and an extra floor to each of the towers whilst keeping the external building envelopes the same. This was to be done through the reduction of the floor to ceiling height of each level, with further optimisation of the floor-plates allowing the expansion of the number of apartments the scheme had on offer from 838 to 952.

Other changes to the design that were approved at the same time included a revised winter garden that partially connects the bases of the towers, and modifications to the cladding that would have subtly changed the hues of glass used.

The problem stems from the fact that the council approved the planning application conditionally. They expected Section 106 contributions to help fund things like public transport to take into account the additional population of the building but these have not been forthcoming and after 18 months the patience the council has displayed has finally run out meaning that they have revoked permission. The lack of funding is hardly surprising as the main developer of the project, KW Linfoot is in administration.

This doesn't mean that the entire project is now unapproved. What it means is that the previous designs still have approval, but not the newer more financially feasible ones. As the developer had made a start on the foundations the previous planning permission has not actually lapsed either.

Despite that it seems unlikely work will restart but if the Lumiere is cancelled then they will have to pay back the deposits of investors making it much easier to just keep the towers in limbo. The hundreds of people who put down deposits for the development which almost happened will be wondering if they are ever going to see their money or not.

Article Related buildings:

Lumiere Tower 1

Lumiere Tower 1
Lumiere Tower 2

Lumiere Tower 2
The Lumiere Towers, Leeds
The Lumiere Towers, Leeds