Leeds Civic Trust objects to proposals for ‘The Tetley’ building

Proposals currently being considered by council planners have been criticised by Leeds Civic Trust who say the changes to the building risk erasing the identity of this iconic building.

As we reported in May, the owners of the former Tetleys brewery headquarters building, Vastint UK, have applied for planning permission to redevelop the building which was home to The Tetley art gallery until last December.

Commenting on the proposals Leeds Civic Trust Director Martin Hamilton said:

“Proposals to remove many original features including wooden panelling, doors and fireplaces are entirely inappropriate.”

“The proposed two storey extension, which replaces the existing one storey structure which is believed to have been built at the same time as the original building, will dominate the existing building in a way that we cannot accept.”

The interior of the Tetley building

“We are not anti-development and accept that the building requires an upgrade, but Aire Park is a huge site, and it should be possible to retain the heart and soul of the last remaining remnant of the site’s brewing past. A sensitive and minimalist approach is needed”

“It was regrettable that it was not possible to retain the previous gallery use and we would ask the owners to think carefully about how they can retain a permanent cultural offer within this iconic building, given its social and cultural significance.”

A spokesperson for Aire Park developer Vastint UK, said:

“We value the opinion of Leeds Civic Trust and the important role it plays in the planning process within the city.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with Leeds Civic Trust and other key stakeholders to allay any concerns as we take our proposals for The Tetley forward.

“Our proposals for the refurbishment and extension of the Tetley building are a result of significant research into the history of the building and the need to update the fabric to secure its long term future, along with aligning it with present day sustainability requirements. The retention and reinstatement of internal historical features, and the sympathetic external design will ensure the building continues to be a vibrant centre piece of the Aire Park development.

“We are proud that the building can be showcased in its entirety, having previously been a functional part of an industrial complex.  Views towards the building along Hunslet Stray were previously obscured by a gatehouse and boundary wall. They are now open, and we are reinstating a second storey extension as previously existed in the c.1950s. The rear of the building was previously attached to The Brewery and we are proposing to activate it to allow engagement, both with its users and its environment. As a building that was historically only accessible to Brewery employees we are very excited secure its future as a space to be enjoyed by all.”

Public consultation on the planning application has now closed, but you can read the full application on the council’s planning portal here.


This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds Civic Trust


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