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Surprise start for Leeds high rise.

Work has started on site in late 2006 on what will be for a short time Leeds second tallest building.

Building work on Opal Tower is being carried out by Ocon Construction Ltd and is currently well advanced on foundations with the main site tower crane shortly to be erected. Construction started surprisingly soon as work had commenced prior to formal approval of the revised planning application.

This site toward the northern edge of the city centre is remembered by many locals as the location of The Londoner pub which was demolished to make way for this development, on valuable land close to the citys two main universities.

The initial proposal for a 23 storey block by specialist student residential provider Victoria Hall Ltd was approved in 2004, but the site was subsequently sold on to another successful developer Opal Property Group who applied for in an increase in the height of the building to 26 storeys. This follows Opals completion of the successful 15 storey Opal 1 residential block at nearby Burley Road.

The finish of the tower appears to be the ever popular metal panels as seen recently on many of Leeds high rise refurbishments, although in this case including a splash of red running up the sides and angularly across the top of the tower to brighten up the appearance.

The local planning authorities didnt have any major issues with approving the proposal as it lies within one of the areas of the city deemed suitable for high rise buildings, and the usage of student residency in this location is one of the aims of the city council to reduce the pressure of students living in nearby traditional family residential areas.

The shear number of high rise proposals in the centre of Leeds has now prompted the council to urgently produce a high rise building policy document which is currently work in progress with the city planning officers headed by the city architect John Thorpe.

Other high rise proposals are currently being planned and considered in the nearby vicinity which would create a dense cluster of towers along the northern inner ring road perimeter of the city centre, which will have particularly prominent effect on the city skyline as they will stand on land that is elevated 30m higher than to the south of the city centre.

The record of the second tallest in the city (after the nearly completed Bridgewater Pace) should be short lived, as work is due to commence in 2007 on the two Lumiere towers and probably on the Plaza Tower all of which will surpass the overall height of Opal Tower.

Article Related buildings:

Opal Residential Tower

Opal Residential Tower
Bridgewater Place

Bridgewater Place
Lumiere Tower 1

Lumiere Tower 1
Opal Tower, Leeds
Opal Tower, Leeds
Opal Tower, Leeds
Opal Tower, Leeds
Opal Tower, Leeds
Opal Tower, Leeds
Newly completed Opal 1
Newly completed Opal 1