The Director of City Development submitted a report which outlined the next steps for delivering the detail design and construction of the Corn Exchange Gateway as part of the ‘Connecting Leeds’ programme, and which sought specific approvals regarding injections into the ‘Connecting Leeds’ programme and the associated authorisation of expenditure.
Responding to a Member’s enquiry, it was acknowledged that a level of disruption was being experienced as a result of the work being undertaken in the city centre, however, the multi-agency approach being taken to mitigate such disruption was highlighted. The importance of an effective communications strategy was emphasised, with assurance also being provided that liaison continued to be undertaken with bus operators on such matters.
Also in response to a Member’s enquiry, the Board was provided with further information regarding the traditional Department for Transport (DfT) methodologies used when appraising such projects, with it being noted that liaison continued to take place with colleagues in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority appraisal team and also with the DfT. It was highlighted that representations were being made to the DfT regarding the need for appraisal methods to give appropriate recognition to the different modes of transport and active travel provision that cities such as Leeds were aiming for.
Emphasis was also placed on the importance of ensuring that robust enforcement mechanisms were put in place to maintain the transport systems which were established in the city centre via schemes such as this in order to maximise the benefit for those using them.
In conclusion, the Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development highlighted that a number of funding streams affecting projects in the city centre had tight timescales, and although work was ongoing to minimise levels of disruption wherever possible, such timescales did create challenges and meant that it was necessary for some projects to be progressed at the same time.
(a) That the progress which has been made since April 2016 in developing the programme of schemes for construction benefiting from the ‘Connecting Leeds’ funding, together with the subsequent public consultation responses, be noted;
(b) That the injection of £6.1m from the City Centre Package programme (funded by the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund) into the ‘Connecting Leeds’ programme, for the design and delivery of the Meadow Lane aspect of the Corn Exchange Gateway Scheme and its associated linkages into the city centre core, be approved;
(c) That the injections of S106 Developer contributions of £905,564 for the Corn Exchange Gateway scheme, be approved;
(d) That expenditure of £21.5m from the ‘Connecting Leeds’ Capital Programme, which will be used to carry out detail design and construction of the Corn Exchange Gateway, be authorised;
(e) That it be noted, that subject to consultation with the Executive Member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development, the Chief Officer, Highways and Transportation will approve the final version of the designs for construction;
(f) That it be noted that the public realm proposals for the Corn Exchange will also be subject to further approval when such proposals have been refined and developed.