What do you do with a 144 year old unused railway viaduct? According to a group that met recently in Holbeck, you put a park on it.
The viaduct snakes through Holbeck crossing Water Lane and Sweet Street, then across the bottom of Domestic Street and the Ingram Distributor dual carriageway towards Farnley. Many of its 85 arches are home to businesses and its part of the landscape.
The group that met at the Midnight Bell are tentatively calling their project the Leeds Line, naming it after the Highline in New York. The High Line is a “linear park” with planting and benches, footpaths and cycle paths running along another disused railway viaduct. You can see a video of the Highline on YouTube here.
The group are resurrecting a plan that was worked up by Leeds architects Bauman Lyons ten years ago. Talking about the plans, Ed Carlisle said:
“This all singing, all dancing plan costing £13m was worked up before the recession. We think there are ways to do this much more cheaply. It might not be as grand, but it will be safe and involve more community action.”
“We are at the very early stages of working out what is feasible, but we’ve had great encouragement and interest from a wide range of people in the city.”
You can follow progress by joining the Holbeck Viaduct Project’s Facebook group.