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Populous’ Leeds Arena wins approval

Construction of Populous’ £60 million Leeds Arena project will start next Spring after final planning approval was given by the council’s city centre plans panel

The latest design details and landscaping around the 13,500-capacity venue have been given the go-ahead, as well as improvements to the Woodhouse Lane multi-storey car park which will be used by visitors to the arena.

The venue will have a honeycomb design, based on a voronoi diagram, as well as a lighting system that can change colour and pattern. It will be built close to the Merrion Centre on a site bounded by Claypit Lane, the Inner Ring Road, Wade Lane, Jacob Street and Brunswick Terrace.

The project’s construction is expected to take two years and open in early 2013.

Council spokesman Richard Lewis said: ‘This is a major step forward for the arena project. It means that all the necessary planning and licensing approvals have been secured and everything is in place for building work to start in the spring.

‘It was extremely encouraging to receive the positive response to the external and internal designs of the building.’

Previous story (AJ 11.08.10)

First Look: Populous’ Leeds Arena

Leeds City Council has unveiled the first images of Populous’ 13,500 seat arena for the city

The honeycomb design uses a voronoi diagram to create cellular shapes that are visible on key approaches to the arena.

At night it will be lit up with a changing colour or pattern, intended to reflect the mood of the event taking place.

Leeds City Council leader Councillor Keith Wakefield said: ‘The design has been carefully chosen to ensure the building is an exciting addition to the Leeds night-time scene helping to draw in visitors, boost the evening economy and act as an commanding gateway to the city centre.

‘It has also been developed to take account of the views of nearly 1,000 Leeds people who took part in the public consultation on the scheme.’

The Leeds Arena will be located within the city centre at Clay Pit lane. Work to build it is scheduled to start later this year and due to complete in late 2012.

 

Previous story (AJ 23.03.10)

Leeds Arena gets outline permission

Leeds City Council has granted outline planning permission for a proposed £80 million music venue by Jacobs and Populous, despite CABE’s disapproval

The 13,500-capacity Leeds Arena on the city’s Claypit Lane has moved a step closer to becoming a reality with more detailed drawings of the building’s design expected to be passed to the council’s plans panel.

Last month CABE’s design review panel said its was concerned about the scheme’s lack of architectural thinking, in particular regarding the appearance of the 12,500-seat, fan-shaped venue in Claypit Lane, and told project backer Leeds Council there needs to be a ‘step change in the quality of design thinking’.

The high-profile project, which also includes a large public square designed by Whitelaw Turkington, will sit on the site of the already demolished Brunswick Terrace campus of Leeds Metropolitan University, next to the Leeds Inner Ring Road.

Leeds City Council leader Andrew Carter said he would soon be announcing the preferred contractor to build the arena and he is hopeful of construction starting by the end of the year.

He added: ‘This is another very positive step forward in delivering the region’s ambition for an arena in Leeds. Being granted outline planning permission provides the council with a strong platform to finalise the arena design.’

In October, the project looked unlikely to go ahead as development agency Yorkshire Forward was refused government permission to invest £18 million in the scheme.

However, ministers later accepted a revised business plan from the council. The building is expected to open in 2012 and create up to 500 jobs.

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