Caption: An artist's impression of the new Sovereign Square
The final approval for a new public green space in Leeds city centre is to be discussed by senior councillors 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 which will feature the new Leeds headquarters for global consultancy firm KPMG.
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 will act as an attractive area for visitors, families and office workers. It will provide additional green space in the city centre and will strengthen links with the South Bank and proposed city centre park to be created there as part of the regeneration of the area.
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. The contemporary landscaping will include mature trees and shrubs as well as paved areas and natural stone walls providing a venue also capable of hosting outdoor events.
Should the final approval be given, work on site would be scheduled to begin in September 2014 and be completed by June 2015, when KPMG moves into the adjacent building which represents the first new major office scheme in Leeds city centre since 2007.
The new KPMG Leeds building, being developed by Muse Developments, is the first of three new plots which make up the broader Sovereign Street scheme. Of the two remaining plots, one is under offer by the way of an exclusivity agreement and the third will be marketed when the square is completed.
Leeds City Council executive member for development and the economy Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“The designs for the new green space at Sovereign Square look fantastic and will create an impressive new park area in the city centre for everyone to use and appreciate whilst also helping to boost and encourage new investment in the area.
“With the café area, water feature and the potential for it to host outdoor events, it will be a wonderful new addition to the city centre and is likely to become a popular visitor attraction in its own right.”
Chris Hearld, KPMG Senior Office Partner Leeds
“We are pleased the council has reached this milestone and we are looking forward to seeing their plans and proposals delivered alongside our new building.”
Development director at Muse Developments David Wells said:
“This is great news for the scheme. With construction of KPMG’s new office building well underway and due for completion in summer 2014, this is an important milestone in the regeneration of Sovereign Street.”
Notes to editors:
The Leeds City Council-owned Sovereign Street site has housed a temporary pay and display car park since plans were scrapped for the Criterion Place development in July 2008.
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