YP Letters: Skyscrapers blow an ill wind for city living in Leeds

Does Leeds need more high-rise buildings like Bridgewater Place?
Does Leeds need more high-rise buildings like Bridgewater Place?
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From: Geoff North, Windsor Mount, Leeds.

I READ with concern the article (The Yorkshire Post, October 31) about the plans for Leeds to build new skyscrapers in the city centre. The wind tunnel effect created at the Bridgewater Place tower block has been disastrous for that part of Leeds and further such tall structures will significantly add to this problem.

Whatever the engineers come up with, you cannot fundamentally alter the fact that high rise buildings create strong wind flows around them and any attempt to mitigate the effect can never be totally successful.

The other more subtle effect is that high rise buildings have a negative effect on the natural spirit of community that exists at street level.

Such structures dominate our street perspective and intimidate any would-be visitor. One only has to look at the large American cities such as Houston, Chicago (the Windy City) or New York where high rise development has left major parts of them as ghost towns on a night because nobody goes into the city centres any more. English cities have traditionally been low level and it is this which helps to create a vibrant city life. One only has to look at York, for example, to realise this. I urge our civic leaders to look very carefully before they create any more mistakes like Bridgewater Place.