Senior councillors in Leeds have agreed to a flagship £1.7 million Cookridge Street scheme to transform a city centre road into a permanent public open space.
During the summer months, since 2016, Cookridge Street has been the successful home to a ‘pop-up park’.
The Cookridge Street design is based on principles for a public space offering seating, tree planting, rain gardens, incidental play, cycling and street cafes for everyone to enjoy.
The proposals for Cookridge Street show:
Five raised green landscaped areas with tree, shrub planting and grassed lawns
Timber faced seating areas, new lighting and rain garden to aid surface water
New paving in keeping with the proposed works on the Headrow
A new two-way cycle route running north-south through to Park Row and City Square
A new drop-off point and opportunities for external café/seating space being created, by the Radisson Blu Hotel.
The permanent closure of Cookridge Street will contribute to a reduction in emissions in this area of the city centre and a related improvement in air quality.
As the construction takes place, Cookridge Street will close permanently for all vehicle traffic in autumn 2020, with the works complete by March 2021.
Leeds City Council executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development Councillor Lisa Mulherin said:
“Cookridge Street is one of our flagship and largest transformational ‘Our Spaces’ schemes. After the successful pop-up park over the last three summers, we’re going to make this permanent and create a new city centre car free public space. It will show ‘Our Spaces’ are places that are welcoming, accessible and well connected, to be used and enjoyed by everyone. By becoming vehicle free, we are supporting a healthier, livable and greener city, which is what people want in the 21st Century.
“The new Cookridge Street public realm will provide opportunities for people to be active, play and rest – with cleaner air quality. And for communities to come together and meet, ultimately making the cultural offer of the city more attractive for our residents, visitors, and businesses.”