Gloom-iere

Calls to tidy up mothballed Leeds Lumiere site:

The team behind mothballed skyscraper Lumiere have been issued with a deadline to tidy up the abandoned site or they could face enforcement action.

Work halted on the £220m scheme to build twin glass towers on Wellington Street around a year ago, then developer KW Linfoot Plc went into administration in February, sparking concerns it might be scrapped completely.

Co-developer Frasers Property took over responsibility for the scheme, but while other abandoned sites in the city have been temporarily transformed into green spaces, Lumiere – in a key city-centre location – has remained a blot on the urban landscape.

See Also: Dig For Community!; Denial – Not A River Through Leeds; The Maddening Truth – Pt II

Lumiere Project Parked

They say that nature abhors a vacuum,  and that certainly seems to be the case in Leeds.

If there has been one positive aspect to the current turmoil it has been that the city’s rather gray and lifeless central area is being given a chance to rebloom.

After last month’s surreal news that a shelved £450m Leeds city centre development site could be turned into allotments for local offices, this month we have “Calls to turn Leeds’s Lumiere site into a park“!

Lumiere, you may remember Weary Surfer, was to be the cloud-bothering folly of local boy Kevin Linfoot until his company was placed into administration earlier this year. [note: for an amusing take on the Linfoot saga you may want read this]. Though when we last heard from Kevin he promised  “I’ll be back”, it appears that some have grown weary of waiting for the prodigal son’s return:

Businesses based around the “abandoned” plot on Wellington Street are fed up of the ugly urban wasteland which has been there for almost 10 months, since work stopped on the £225m development.

Kevin Grady, of Leeds Civic Trust, said the developers should take inspiration from MEPC which is already planting trees on its site at nearby Wellington Place, and plans to create temporary allotments and five-a-side football pitches while its development is on hold.

The article reminds us that:

The announcement that developer KW Linfoot Plc had gone into administration in February sparked concerns the project might be scrapped completely.

Co-developer Frasers Ventures Ltd took over the responsibility for delivering the scheme but there has still been no visible progress…

A spokeswoman for Frasers said: “We have visited the site recently and were satisfied that it is safe and secure and does not represent any threat to public safety.”

She added: “Frasers Property is considering its options for both the short term use and site exterior.”

Tiberius says “The tallest thing that will be built on that site in the next five years will be a Helter-Skelter. Quit talking, start sliding!”

Published in: on April 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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