Following the news that demolition of The Yorkshire Post building on Wellington Street, Leeds has begun, proposals have been submitted to retain the tower, which has displayed the time and the temperature since it was built in 1970.
Joint agent for the scheme, Paul Fox of Fox Lloyd Jones said:
“While the rest of the site will be cleared, the developers have noted the affection people have for the tower and wish to retain it as a landmark.
“Plans exist to re-clad and improve it at a cost of £¼m, with an intention to display digital marketing imagery.”
In tandem, a planning application has been submitted for the rest of the site which proposes a temporary car park.
If approved, it will provide in the region of 500 car parking spaces and will also incorporate an area for the exclusive use of mobile public services, such as mobile blood donor facilities, health screening vehicles, a mobile library or armed forces recruitment displays.
Tim Waring of Quod, planning advisors to the developer, said:
“Given it is such a high profile site and one of the ‘first impressions’ people get when arriving in Leeds, the car park is an essential temporary measure while the plans for the site’s final redevelopment evolve.
“As such, our plans involve high quality landscaping and a major environmental enhancement, benefitting this part of the city during the period between demolition and redevelopment.
“Creation of temporary parking and the public realm, and the activity which will come with it, will ensure this part of the Leeds does not stagnate after demolition, while also giving interested parties an excellent opportunity to see the extent and true potential of the site and its riverside frontage.”
Paul Fox added:
“Having followed debate and feedback on the subject it is clear the people of Leeds seem to have ‘opposing’ love/hate relationships with the Yorkshire Post building, and we have listened to that feedback, which is why we are keen to retain and improve the tower; not only as a landmark, but as a lasting memory of the building.
“It will then either be incorporated into future plans or delivered in a new form.”
Initial demolition of the building has now commenced and is due to be completed by the end of June. A planning application outlining future proposals is envisaged late summer.
Fox Lloyd Jones is acting as joint agents with DTZ on the promotion and delivery of the site.