Historic viaduct in Leeds to be transformed into a sky park

Plans to regenerate the disused Monk Bridge viaduct into a high line park with shops, bars and restaurants occupying its arches have been given the go ahead by an enthusiastic decision-making panel.

The project is said to be inspired by The Highline – a 1.45 mile long park on an elevated section of disused railway in Manhattan, and will provide visitors with access to a variety of businesses while they enjoy great views of the city and pathways surrounded by greenery.

The site will also contain 307 homes in five apartment blocks of varying height.

Chairman of the panel, James McKenna declared that ‘in 30 years of sitting on planning, this is the most exciting scheme I have come across’, and also expressed his delight that the project will help the council meet their housing targets, while alleviating demand on green belt areas.

Another panel member, Peter Gruen, referred to the project as ‘something quite exceptional, something that will be a legacy’.

Principal Developer of Foundation Real Estate, Julian D’Arcy said that they were ‘delighted to have received planning consent’ and were especially looking forward to restoring the viaduct at the heart of the Monk Bridge site.

He went on to say that ‘the support from Leeds city council, neighbouring businesses and the wider community demonstrates the importance placed in celebrating the city’s past whilst championing its future’.  

The plans have received a largely positive response from the general public, who are hopeful that the development will breathe new life into the area.

(Image: Yorkshire Evening Post)

Connie Lawfull

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