Council exec to rubberstamp park and ride and Sovereign Street development

Senior councillors in Leeds are set  to rubberstamp two major initiatives in the city centre and off Elland Road next week.

At its meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 6 November, the council’s executive board will be asked to approve the creation of the new ‘Sovereign Square’ as part of the office development at Sovereign Street.

And councillors will also be asked to sign off the controversial new park and ride facility off Elland Road in Beeston after planning permission was granted last week.

Sovereign Square Leeds

An artist’s impression of the new Sovereign Square in Leeds city centre

Sovereign Square

As part of the development on the council-owned land on the site of the former Queen’s Hall, a key feature will be a central green space which the council says will act as an attractive area for visitors, families and office workers.

It’s hoped the new area will strengthen links with the South Bank and proposed city centre park to be created there as part of the regeneration of the area over the next 15 years or so.

The design put forward for the new Sovereign Square green space, which was granted planning permission in December 2012, will include a tree-lined boulevard, grassed area, water feature, rain garden, lighting and outdoor seating which will combine to offer a backdrop for street cafes to be developed.

Apparently there will be natural stone walls providing a venue also capable of hosting outdoor events.

Should the council sign off the scheme – and it’d be a major surprise if they didn’t – work would begin in September 2014 and be completed by June 2015, when KPMG moves into the adjacent building.

 Elland Road park and ride

Artist’s impression of the planned new Elland Road park and ride

Elland Road park and ride

Final approval for the creation of the city’s first major bus-based park and ride scheme will also be considered at the meeting.

The £2.8 million scheme, to the west of Elland Road football stadium, received full planning permission last week and would be in operation by May next year if the council

There has been plenty of local opposition to the scheme, with residents and local groups including Beeston Forum expressing concern about increased traffic and pollution. Critics argue the park and ride needs to be further out of town for it to be a real success.

Beeston’s local councillors have all objected, but their concerns made little difference at plans last week, so don’t expect local people power to sway the executive board this time either.

If the scheme is approved there will be a dedicated 15-minute bus service running to and from Boar Lane.

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