Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 12:34 UK

Skyscrapers axed as market slides

Criterion Place 'Kissing Towers'
The taller tower would have stood 520ft above the streets of Leeds

Plans to build a pair of skyscrapers in Leeds have been scrapped because of the property market slump.

The demise of the 115m Criterion Place project, known as "The Kissing Towers", comes a week after work was suspended on the city's Lumiere apartment block.

Simons Developments said plans for the towers, including flats and a hotel, were not viable in the current market.

The company had wanted to submit a new plan, but Leeds City Council decided to terminate the contract.

A council spokesman said: "We have a conditional contract with Simons and they have not fulfilled conditions set out in it, specifically they have not prepared and submitted a planning application within the timescales set out in the contract.

We support the council's decision to do what is economically right for the city at a time of uncertainty
Mark Newton, Simons Developments director

"We have put a report before the council's Executive Board to consider future options for the site."

Mark Newton, development director of Simons Developments, said: "It is unfortunate that due to current market conditions the Criterion Place development is no longer viable.

"Whilst we are disappointed that we are not going to be able to turn the Kissing Towers into a reality, we support the council's decision to do what is economically right for the city at a time of uncertainty.

"We hope that when the market improves the future of Criterion Place can be reassessed and the full potential of this prime city centre location realised."

At 47 storeys, the taller tower would have stood at 520ft - two feet higher than the Blackpool Tower. Its smaller next-door twin would have risen 27 storeys off Sovereign Street.

The development would have included 301 apartments, a 161-bed hotel and shops.

Last week, developers K W Linfoot and Frasers Property said building work had been halted on the 32-storey Lumiere apartment block until "the climate stabilises".

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."

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09 Jul 08 |  West Yorkshire
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Yorkshire Evening Post Leeds' 'Kissing Towers' axed - 25 hrs ago
Yorkshire Post Axe for £115m twin 'kissing towers' scheme - 40 hrs ago

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