Demolition is proceeding apace at Oak House in Little Woodhouse. Even though the site is within what Leeds City Council has designated as the city centre, the demolition contractors are not using a water spray to prevent dust from the demolition being dispersed into the surrounding air. This contrasts with what happened at the John Lewis site when a water spray was used to keep the dust down when contractors were demolishing the Eastgate “book-end” designed by world-renowned architect Reginald Blomfield (the Tam O’Shanter pub building). It also contrasts with what happened when contractors used a water spray whilst clearing the site for the new college situated next to the West Yorkshire Playhouse. These were also city centre sites. Unlike those sites, Oak House is adjacent to lots of residential accommodation. When the failure to use a water spray at the Oak House was reported to Leeds City Council, the council’s response was that the demolition contractors at Oak House were doing everything required to prevent dust dispersing into the surrounding air.
In an article dated the 28th November 2016, the Yorkshire Evening post announced the forthcoming opening of the Clarendon Quarter on the site of the former St Michael’s College. The article reported:
“Clarendon Quarter, on St John’s Road, opens on January 7 with 261 studio apartments offered at a reduced rent for keyworkers, including nurses and those employed in retail, who earn under £30,000 a year. Phase two of the scheme, which is a conversion of St Michael’s Catholic College with some new build, will see 61 one, two and three-bedroom apartments ready for open market rental at the end of February. The site, owned by American insurance giant AIG, brings the concept of co-living to Yorkshire.”
Earlier today, I noticed that all the cladding had been removed from the section of the Clarendon Quarter known as “The Gardens.” I asked one of the workmen if this was because the cladding was flammable. He emphatically responded, “There is no flammable material on this building.” I said to him, “In that case, why is the cladding being replaced.” He said that it needed replacing to improve the building’s appearance.
The Grenfell Tower fire took place on the 14th June 2017, just a few months after the opening of The Gardens. With one bedroom flats currently on offer there at £895 per month, and three bedroom flats on offer at £1,495 per month, it’s as well that the cladding used wasn’t flammable. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for the flat owners to rent out their flats.
Kendal Carr is a long established sheltered housing complex in the heart of Kendal Carr is a long established sheltered housing complex in the heart of Little Woodhouse. It is owned and run by Leeds City Council
I learnt recently that the council has offered each resident £4,000 to quit. A lady I spoke to who know several of the residents of Kendal Carr, told me she thinks that if they have to move, it will kill some of them.
No doubt the majority of the residents had planned on living out their days at Kendal Carr. £4,000 is a lot of money, especially to someone who may not have any. It’s to be hoped that no resident is persuaded by this cash inducement to act against their own best interests.
Photo of St George’s Church courtesy of Dryrot