By Luis Ortiz
WORK WILL start next month to prevent the “wind tunnel” effect around the tallest building in Yorkshire which has been blamed for the death of one man and several other injuries.
The owners of Bridgewater Place have appointed a contractor to start the 16-month scheme to reduce gusts around the landmark 32-storey skyscraper in Leeds city centre.
Dr Edward Slaney was killed when a lorry blew over in March 2011.
CPPI Bridgewater Place Limited Partnership said the project will include the erection of sail-like wind baffles across Water Lane and a series of vertical screens and canopies to the building.
Lendlease, the firm that handled the original construction of Bridgewater Place, will manage the implementation of the plans, which were approved by Leeds City Council in November 2014.
Preparatory works are set to start in January. As a result, Water Lane will be closed for about twelve weeks.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “As a council we are clear that the danger posed by this building to the public is unacceptable and we have tirelessly pushed for nothing less than the best possible solution to this situation.
“We did not wait for the owners to act on their responsibilities but continued to put pressure on them while we set about working with leading wind experts to tackle these issues.
“While doing so we also addressed the junction’s safety through installation of barriers and railings, along with closures in times of high winds.
“This agreement means we are now able to recover the costs to council taxpayers of pursuing the solution and protecting the public while the owners got their plans in place.”
Nick Sinfield from CPPI said: “It was incredibly important to us that we found the right contractor for the job and I’m pleased that work will be able to start in January.
“As the firm was involved in the original construction of the building, we feel Lendlease are best placed to take the plans forward as they know the scheme and have an understanding of the building and its history.
“The scheme has been developed to promote and improve safety for all, significantly reducing wind speeds surrounding the building.
“For us, it is important that such a vital scheme is delivered with minimal disruption for local people and businesses and we will continue to keep stakeholders updated as our works progress.”