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Old February 16th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #2641
sifront
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Originally Posted by Sadbrad View Post
There's not enough business in Bradford centre for lots of 'Sparrow' type places, asian communities have routed many good pubs from local areas and the city centre won't be exempt as the population grows, now if you can persuade them to drink beer it would be another matter...There's not a chance of Bradford holding an ale festival.

Well, I myself live on Brick Lane in London (massive non-drinking population in Tower Hamlets) but the area still manages to have a thriving pub scene. Of course, there is more of an historic pull to this area – but it's proof high Asian populations don't necessarily have to mean that all the businesses are 'dry.'

If westfield goes ahead and the inevitable 'high-street' shift to Broadway happens, I think the historic streets (hustlergate/darley etc) should be re-positioned as a high-quality food and drink area. Leave the west End to the WKD knobs and let the quality old buildings house something a bit spesh. How wonderful would that be?
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Old February 16th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #2642
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I understand the sentiment but that would be a very bad idea. You would end up with workers parking there all day for nothing so the shoppers couldn't, and rather a lot of difficulties with junctions, passing etc. Would also be good if public transport fares could be kept sane (maybe Metro might be able to sort it with Quality Contracts one day) and not undermine the viability of it too much with traffic problems etc, because on top of its potential efficiency etc a lot of people won't be able to afford cars and you can't really go out drinking or whatever when you're driving.
When I said I'd like "all restrictions" removed, I didn't mean give carte blanche to renegade car drivers!

The place is dead, there are yellow lines out front of many dead shops, let people park there if they want to, for an hour say. Bradford centre needs people!

Public transport has been done to death, most people have cars and they want to use them, btw most of my shopping trips are done on a scooter or cycle. I could bang on and on about 170mpg, free road tax and how fit & healthy I am but it won't make a jot of difference to 95%+ of car owners.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #2643
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A report out today - Retailers closed 14 high street shops a day in 2011, and the rate of closures is expected to rise, as half of retail leases in the UK come up for renewal by 2015.

Stores selling books, electrical items, home furnishings, menswear and holidays were the hardest hit, along with off-licences, bars and pubs. And in a reflection, pound stores, charity shops, credit unions, supermarkets, pawnbrokers and retailers selling convenience food all increased their store numbers.

Retailers are now heading for out of town locations which have free parking and lots of shoppers!

What do Bradford Council go and do?...vote to increase the number of charged parking zones in the city centre and pay for the meter's before formal approval, which as it happens has now been approved!

Its not looking good for Westfield ever being built and free parking is a must.

Last edited by Sadbrad; February 17th, 2012 at 11:15 AM.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #2644
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A report out today - Retailers closed 14 high street shops a day in 2011, and the rate of closures is expected to rise, as half of retail leases in the UK come up for renewal by 2015.

Stores selling books, electrical items, home furnishings, menswear and holidays were the hardest hit, along with off-licences, bars and pubs. And in a reflection, pound stores, charity shops, credit unions, supermarkets, pawnbrokers and retailers selling convenience food all increased their store numbers.

Retailers are now heading for out of town locations which have free parking and lots of shoppers!

What do Bradford Council go and do?...vote to increase the number of charged parking zones in the city centre and pay for the meter's before formal approval, which as it happens has now been approved!

Its not looking good for Westfield ever being built and free parking is a must.
Maybe they should of made a giant forster square style FREE car park at westfield whilst it was on hold? why did nobody think of this?
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Old February 17th, 2012, 09:12 PM   #2645
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Maybe they should of made a giant forster square style FREE car park at westfield whilst it was on hold? why did nobody think of this?
Well I did, on 25 October 2010.

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The Westfield site should have been turned into free car parking, not a stupid park. That might have stopped business bleeding away.
And by the way, it's "should have", not "should of".
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Old February 17th, 2012, 10:51 PM   #2646
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It comes back to Westfield owning the land and them being in complete control.
The situation is scandalous, fingers can be pointed directly at Wesfield for hastening the decline of the city centre, let alone 8 lost years of business rates the Council has missed out on!
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Old February 17th, 2012, 11:28 PM   #2647
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It comes back to Westfield owning the land and them being in complete control.
The situation is scandalous, fingers can be pointed directly at Wesfield for hastening the decline of the city centre, let alone 8 lost years of business rates the Council has missed out on!
I can't agree with that pal, Westfield behaved exactly how you'd expect a multi-national conglomerate to behave, they've got shareholders to answer to. The finger should be pointing firmly and only at City Hall.

What Bradford would give today for what was knocked down 8 years ago!
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Old February 18th, 2012, 11:20 AM   #2648
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And I can't totally agree with that, whilst I agree that Westfield have shareholders to answer to and that Bradford Council should be held to account, there is no doubt that Westfield's non-action has played a major part in the decline of the city centre, thus should be held to account for it.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:34 AM   #2649
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Just going back to the bars/restaurants debate – I genuinely feel this is potentially an area in which Bradford can better distinguish itself from Leeds .
As it stands, Leeds is (and has established itself as) a nightlife and trendy bar city. Great for their night-time economy, but really not to everyone’s taste. Recent trends have seen a rise in popularity of little indie real ale bars (like the Sparrow) thriving. Surely if we can encourage more of this in the centre (and less of the chains and rubbish ‘swanky’ bars with awful names like ‘ignite’ or ‘bliss’) then we will set ourselves apart from other cities. And with the new City Park space, we could host the best ale festival in the country!
Leeds does also have some great bars that aren't chains or 'swanky'. I agree though, I think this is something where Bradford could do something.

I think there'd be enough business to support some bars that were close enough to the Alhambra / St George's Hall. In the long term, a better range of bars in the city centre would make the city centre a more attractive place to live.

I think restaurants and little niche cafe type things would be great for Bradford city centre too, with no alcohol. I keep saying on my blog, but something like Brixton Village would be great in Bradford.

Getting enough bars to form a circuit would be good, or if not... making places like Market Street and Rawson Street (so many vacancies now) as destinations in their own right might work too.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:46 AM   #2650
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Originally Posted by Sadbrad View Post
A report out today - Retailers closed 14 high street shops a day in 2011, and the rate of closures is expected to rise, as half of retail leases in the UK come up for renewal by 2015.

Stores selling books, electrical items, home furnishings, menswear and holidays were the hardest hit, along with off-licences, bars and pubs. And in a reflection, pound stores, charity shops, credit unions, supermarkets, pawnbrokers and retailers selling convenience food all increased their store numbers.

Retailers are now heading for out of town locations which have free parking and lots of shoppers!

What do Bradford Council go and do?...vote to increase the number of charged parking zones in the city centre and pay for the meter's before formal approval, which as it happens has now been approved!

Its not looking good for Westfield ever being built and free parking is a must.
I'm still not sure I understand the furor over car parking in the city centre, probably because I don't care for cars much and I don't drive. But I just do not see how free car parking would save Bradford City Centre.

All city centres charge for car parking. Money from parking is needed to pay for parking enforcement and to pay for business rates for off street parking. It would be interesting if the retailers would be willing to cover the costs of providing for free parking, as they do at out of town centres.

The paid for on street car parking is usually pretty busy, the Kirkgate car park is busy enough. So if its free, there would be more people wanting to park (presumably) so how is the issue of people driving around the city centre with no other reason than to find a parking space dealt with. Traffic would be unbearable so people would probably just seek to drive to out of town centres designed for the car and park there for free instead.

Two hours parking is £1.20, add that to petrol money and its probably just about as cheap as the bus, certainly for more than two people. Emphasis should be on making the centre a bit better, so people feel more willing to part with a quid twenty.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #2651
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You've lost the point, free parking in the city centre will not save it, but as a temprorary measure it might slow the steep decline in footfall.
Its an idea being banded about in an attempt to bring more people into the city centre to help save dying retailers through lack of business.

Right now the city centre desperately needs something to bring people in, it certainly does not have the pull of enough retailers, something else has to be done even as a temporary measure., certainly the increase of parking meter's won't help the situation and if anything it will make matters worse, where shoppers will flock to such as the Forster Sq retail park and out of town shopping centres, which have free parking and enough retail to keep them coming back.

You say that the emphasis should be on making then centre a bit better, this will only happen with an influx of retailers, who will only come if the footfall is there rather than it being in steep decline which is the case in Bradford.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:42 PM   #2652
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I know it's a massively contentious issue, but the old Odeon building really needs to be pulled down. Nobody is going to invest in it, it's a terrible eyesore and in the grand scale of Bradford's architecture it's not even that important. Accept defeat and move on.
It's a real shame that the Odeon has been let go to rack and ruin, it could form a fine back drop to the new look Centenary Square. It will soon be at the stage, if is already not where it will have to be dropped.

Perhaps the facade could be rescued and something built behind it such something that could host a world cafe type thing, but that looks highly unlikely and it is almost certainly end up being waste ground, which will be a terrible shame.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #2653
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More claptrap on the Pond, the reporter didn't even get the actual cost right!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20...ture-city-park

Last edited by Sadbrad; February 20th, 2012 at 01:38 PM.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 09:34 PM   #2654
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More claptrap on the Pond, the reporter didn't even get the actual cost right!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20...ture-city-park
The publicity is a good though, describes the city from a positive angle for a change. & If its really going to bring in more tourists (like those interviewed), and/or improve their experiences when visiting the city, then it will bring businesses extra revenue streams.

It is much easier for normal Bradfordians to knock the park because of the cost and the very little impact its had in terms of jobs and developments so far. As I've said before, if they don't come then this will be waste of money, if they do it will be an overwhelming success to the city.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 12:39 AM   #2655
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Hello im new to skyskraper city, and wondering if anyone has more information about Stanley Wardley and his plans for the city centre in the 50/60s.I understand he was at the time considered a visionary town planner, obviously not now!
Believe his total plan for the centre was never completed,what proportion was actually finished,and would anyone think that if the masterplan was completed it would have changed what has since happened in last 10 years.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 12:00 PM   #2656
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Hello im new to skyskraper city, and wondering if anyone has more information about Stanley Wardley and his plans for the city centre in the 50/60s.I understand he was at the time considered a visionary town planner, obviously not now!
Believe his total plan for the centre was never completed,what proportion was actually finished,and would anyone think that if the masterplan was completed it would have changed what has since happened in last 10 years.
Local history is one of my hobbies bud and from the stuff i've read i don't think it would have made much difference. Don't forget he was working with a council that at the time were almost as mentally challenged as our current council. They allowed the demolition of some iconic buildings, Swan Arcade, The Mechanics Institute to name but two, there are many more. Can you imagine what these buildings would look like today had they been left alone and refurbed like the Wool Exchange.

I do sometimes get quite upset/angry when reading the books i have on Bradford's history. This great City has been constantly let down by its council on a regular basis since the 1950's. I bet the likes Samuel Cunliffe Lister (Lord Masham) and Sir Titus Salt are turning in their graves!!
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Old February 24th, 2012, 12:25 PM   #2657
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Spin masters at it again

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.u...d_is_revealed/
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Old February 26th, 2012, 06:33 PM   #2658
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My latest blog posts, imagine Bradford in 2052, with two different scenarios.

One is where the city dies. The city is failed by national policies, plus a change in personal transport, with non-polluting vehicles means that cities are less relevant places - the city misses out in economic growth and eventually dies totally.

The other one is where the city experiences a renaissance, thanks to massive investment in infrastructure and the need for more people to live in cities in general, due to changes in transportation.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #2659
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My latest blog posts, imagine Bradford in 2052, with two different scenarios.

One is where the city dies. The city is failed by national policies, plus a change in personal transport, with non-polluting vehicles means that cities are less relevant places - the city misses out in economic growth and eventually dies totally.

The other one is where the city experiences a renaissance, thanks to massive investment in infrastructure and the need for more people to live in cities in general, due to changes in transportation.
Great blog posts. I guess an alternative pessimistic timeline could be made as follows:

* 2014: As a consequence of the Broadway development not starting as a consequence of Westfield's bankruptcy as a consequence of changing retail circumstances and a scandal affecting the company in their native Australia, Marks & Spencer announces the closure of its Bradford City Centre store with claims that their stores at Owlcotes (Pudsey), Keighley, Halifax in addition to new stores in Shipley town centre and at the top end of the M606 by their Northern Distribution Centre will quite nicely serve the Bradford area as opposed to their present dilapidated store. This proves a disaster for Bradford City Centre's remaining retail offering with many other national chains closing with the notable exception of Primark announcing that they are to expand their Kirkgate Centre store and pound shops, betting shops and fast food restaurants announcing an expansion in Bradford city centre.

* 2015: Bradford City fall out of the football league and as a result move out of their Valley Parade home to play with Bradford Bulls at Odsal (which still hasn't been redeveloped). Their old home is left derelict despite proposals including a mosque and a prison to be built on the site.

* 2016: Major companies based in Bradford City Centre including the Provident and Santander announce a move either to the suburbs or Leeds as a result of the decaying state of Bradford City Centre and as a consequence of perceived dangers as a result of operating within Bradford. This results in even more vacant buildings in Bradford City Centre.

* 2018: Towns including Shipley, Bingley, Keighley and Ilkley anounce a seccession from Bradford forming the new Airedale District Council thereby significantly reducing the official population of the Bradford district and removing many of the wealthier areas (and therefore high council tax areas) from the Bradford district.

* 2020: Bradford City and Bradford Bulls announce a move and merger with Halifax Town and Halifax RLFC at the Shay losing any professional sport within the city of Bradford as it is believed that a bid to regain league football and Super League Rugby League would be more realistic if served from Halifax as opposed to Bradford and also as a consequence of Odsal Stadium being long unfit to serve professional sports. Odsal Stadium subsequently made into a landfill site as a consequence of continuing opposition to proposed incinerator schemes. Also Bradford Park Avenue announce a move to either Farsley Celtic or the Keighley Cougars ground although liquidation soon puts a stop to their move and the club which was reformed in 1974 after a previous liquidation had seen their second life come to an end.

* 2022: Riots following a spree of racist incidents break out in Bradford leading to a number of deaths and the destruction of much of the City Centre including long derelict landmarks such as the former Odeon Cinema, Sunwin House and Brown **** department stores, the Wool Exchange and most tragically the Town Hall which the rump Bradford Council had still occupied although council cuts had lead to the building looking rather tired. Bradford Council subsequently moved into offices in Halifax, Shipley and Leeds in a bid to retain staff safety.

* 2023: Bradford which following the riots and great fire of 2022 now appears more like a mix of Dresden, Beirut and Kabul is sealed off with a massive Berlin style Wall sealing off everything inside the A6177 Bradford Ring Road with the UK government announcing that Bradford is to become a prison.

* 2025: Air Force One containing the Prime Minister and President of the United States of America crashes into Bradford Prison on a flight between London Heathrow and Washington Dulles. Snake Plissken is sent in to rescue the President and Prime Minister.

An alternative positive timeline:

* 2013: The Labour party who run Bradford Council are removed from power after a popular revolt at local elections with Bradford Independent councillors taking control of the authority as a consequence of dissatisfaction with the major political parties incompetence at running Bradford as a city.

* 2014: Business rates are cut in the City of Bradford and incentives are launched to restore much of Bradford's historic architecture including the Odeon Cinema, Sunwin House department store and numerous old mills. In addition Bradford Council encourage integration between different ethnic groups within Bradford in a bid to reduce segregation which has long been seen as a problem within Bradford.

* 2017: As a consequence of such investment in regeneration a buzz develops around Bradford with The Guardian and The Times newspapers announcing Bradford as the place to be.

* 2018: Bradfords population rises and development finally occurs on the Westfield site for new high street led shopping including new department stores, offices and residential as well as a crossrail link between Interchange and Forster Square railway stations. In addition major companies including Morrisons and a reformed Bradford & Bingley Building Society announce the creation of new head offices in Bradford City Centre.

* 2022: Proposals for a 150m tall skyscraper on part of the former Forster Square retail park with designs by Norman Foster. This commences construction albiet shortened to a more realistic 100m in 2023.

* 2025: Bradford is now clearly at a state where it can be seen as a clear rival to Leeds restoring a rivalry which was rather one sided in recent decades.

Last edited by Val Verde; February 26th, 2012 at 08:22 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 09:35 PM   #2660
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Here's another timeline:

2025 Bradford becomes part of Leeds and the two cities are renamed Leedsford!!
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