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EH in last-ditch effort to kill off Carey Jones project

Conservationists have panned a mixed-use canalside Carey Jones Architects scheme in Leeds, in a last-ditch bid to kill off the scheme.

Both Leeds Civic Trust and English Heritage (EH) have criticised the office, residential, shopping and leisure development - designed for waterside regeneration specialists ISIS - even though it is set to win planning tomorrow.

The trust strongly objects to the 'grossly over-intensive' and 'greatly insensitive' proposals within a prominent conservation area that includes nine listed buildings and structures.

It has demanded that the height of all the buildings - the tallest of which is 22 storeys-high - be 'radically reduced'.

EH said the plans would harm the special context by 'dwarfing adjacent listed buildings' and has called for the planning application to be refused.

The scheme's backers claim the site - which is bounded by the Leeds Railway Station, Holbeck Urban Village, the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal - would be significantly regenerated.

Leeds Council planners agree. In a planning document they said: 'The careful design, height and mass of the buildings, and well-designed spaces between the buildings, could greatly enhance the character of the Conservation Area'.

A decision is expected tomorrow.

by Will Hunter

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