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Update: a history of wind problems in Leeds

Astragal was intrigued to stumble across these findings of an investigation by the Yorkshire Post into the history of wind problems around the base of Aedas’ Bridgewater Place scheme in Leeds

According to documents released to the paper under the Environmental Regulations Act, winds of up to 69mph were recorded close to the base of the city centre skyscraper on 10 March when a man was crushed to death under van which had blown on top of him.

The paper also uncovered a catalogue of ‘alleged wind-related incidents’ which had occured since the building completed in 2007.

An example of the reported incidents:

  • a woman needed 10 stitches to a knee injury and suffered a torn liver, internal bleeding and burns to her chest from soup she was carrying when she was blown off her feet and into a wall, according to her solicitors.
  • a police officer was blown from his bike near Bridgewater Place in December 2009.
  • a buggy with a three-month-old child was blown over while crossing the road in January 2011.
  • two women seen ‘clinging to lampposts’ in high winds in February 2011.

It is understood Leeds City Council has since come to an agreement with the owners of Bridgewater Place to carry out further ‘wind tunnel model testing’.

Previous story (11.05.11)

Astragal understands signs warning of dangerously gusting high winds are to be ‘urgently’ put up around the base of Aedas’ Bridgewater Place skyscraper in Leeds, the so-called ‘Dalek’

In March a man was crushed to death at the base of the tower when a van was blown on top of him in high winds. The city council is also working with the developer ‘to install a canopy at the second storey level’ and ‘vertical porous baffles at ground level’.

Given that the issue of dangerous winds was raised in 2008 – and plans were then afoot (AJ 10.07.08) to add fins to the tower to alleviate the winds – it is a legitimate question to ask why the remedy has taken so long?

Readers' comments (1)

  • Isnt there a case for corporate manslaughter if problems were identified and not acted upon. Who would be responsible though? The architects for not identifying the problem at design stage or the owners for not acting on an obvious problem? I would hope the poor family of the man killed would seek answers even if Leeds City Council and the HSE dont.

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