7 January 2014
The latest twist in the ongoing saga means that the important city centre site, located in the financial district a mere stroll away from the train station, is still nothing more than a gaping chasm - and no-one quite knows what its future holds.
Formal permission for the development with towers of 54 storeys and 32 storeys was originally granted by Leeds City Council back in 2007 and work on the foundations began. An amended planning application was then submitted in 2008 by co-developers KW Linfoot and Frasers Ventures, detailing various proposed changes including an additional storey on each tower to make room for 114 extra apartments; these amended plans were approved in principle, but only on the basis that a number of conditions would be met, such as the need to provide a certain proportion of affordable housing. The developers are yet to sign up to those conditions - and council officials have now refused permission for the amended plans. In an added twist, KW Linfoot went into administration last year, leaving its development partners to take over responsibility for the scheme.
Frustratingly for the people who live and work in the locality of what is presently an eyesore, this latest decision neither draws a line under Lumiere nor does it compel it to go ahead. The approval of the original planning application still remains in place, so in theory the developers could still proceed with it - although it remains to be seen whether they will choose to do so. In the meantime, an important avenue into the city centre remains spoiled by an unsightly gaping hole.