Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 19:24 UK

City building project put on hold

The proposed Lumiere skyscraper
The 54 storey Lumiere Tower 1 will dominate the Leeds skyline

A 225m construction project which was set to transform the Leeds city skyline has been put on hold due to the credit crunch, developers have revealed.

The Lumiere project, on Whitehall Road and Wellington Street, will see two glass towers of 54 and 32 storeys with a winter garden linking them.

But developers K W Linfoot and Frasers Property said building work had been halted until "the climate stabilises".

The towers have been billed as Europe's tallest residential buildings.

'Economic climate'

Richard Dean, joint managing director of K W Linfoot, said: "We are of course disappointed that we are unable to progress plans for Lumiere to the anticipated timescale but we have to take heed of the current climate.

"We have made a sensible and pragmatic decision to put on hold construction at a time when the piling works are complete and before we embark on the next phase."

More than 600 of the 952 apartments which will make up the towers have already been sold.

A spokesman for Leeds City Council, which approved planning permission of the project in July 2007, said: "K W Linfoot was right to adopt a prudent attitude in the current economic climate, but the good news is that this is a postponement, not a cancellation."

The decision comes after York house builder Persimmon Houses announced it would be cutting 2,000 jobs due to the downturn in the economy.

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