Plans to give a landmark building in Leeds a smart new look are set to come under scrutiny from the council

A local authority planning panel will discuss the proposals for City House at a meeting on Thursday.

Dating back to the 1960s and designed by crooked architect John Poulson, the no-frills city centre tower block is widely regarded as one of the least attractive features of the Leeds skyline.

But its owner, property company Bruntwood, sees a bright future for the 14-storey building, which stands next to Leeds City Station.

If the planning application being considered at Thursday’s meeting gets the green light, City House's exterior would be re-clad with stylish glazing.

Its interior would also be fully refurbished, creating office space to suit all sizes of business.

A report on the plans compiled by Leeds City Council officers says: "City House has a tired appearance and is in need of refurbishment as it currently provides little visual benefit [to the city centre].

"Being such a tall and prominent building it is considered the character of the city centre, adjacent conservation area and setting of nearby listed buildings would be significantly enhanced following the proposed refurbishment."

Family-owned Bruntwood bought City House in July last year after its previous owner, Kenmore Property Group, went into administration in November 2009.

Once home to several government departments, the building has stood vacant since 2006.

Following the purchase, Bruntwood said its plans for City House would involve "meticulous design, precision craftmanship and the highest quality materials".

The firm's other developments in Leeds include West One and 14 King Street.

Pontefract architect John Poulson was jailed for corruption in the 1970s. His projects aside from City House included the now-demolished Leeds International Pool.


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