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Leeds woe continues for Ian Simpson as Criterion is canned

A second skyscraper scheme in Leeds by Ian Simpson Architects has hit the buffers in less than a fortnight.

Criterion Place, a twin 47- and 29-storey tower scheme in Sovereign Street, has been kiboshed by Leeds City Council only days after Simpson’s other city-centre high-rise project – the Lumiere - was mothballed (AJ online 10.07.08).

Dubbed the Kissing Towers, the long-awaited Criterion Place scheme was torpedoed by the local authority last week, with the council tearing up a preferred developer agreement with project backer Simons.

The council blamed ‘four years of inactivity’ for the decision to can the deal.

Simons and development partner Dandara, which came on board last year, had wanted to build 779 flats, a hotel, a casino and 27,000m2 of offices on the site.

But no planning application ever come forward and rumours about the scheme’s future started circulating when public meeting to showcase amended proposals to the city council last November was unexpectedly postponed (AJ online 08.11.07).

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: ‘It is now more than four years since the original offer and scheme proposals were submitted by Simons for approval and the company was selected as the preferred developer for the Sovereign Street site.

‘The revised proposal received from Simons represents a significant departure from the original. The council has, therefore, decided not to accept this offer and terminate the contract.

‘We will consider all our future options for the site, and in the meantime will retain it and continue to use it for car parking.’

Ian Simpson Architects refused to comment.

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