A multi-million pound arena for Leeds will be iconic and put Leeds on the map, council leader Andrew Carter has said.
Leeds Arena, which is due to be built behind the Merrion Centre and Yorkshire Bank buildings on Claypit Lane, was discussed at yesterday's city development scrutiny board meeting.
Councillor Matthew Lobley said: "Can I have assurances that the plans will really put Leeds on the map? They need to be iconic."
Council leader Carter said plans for this 'unique site and opportunity' were due to be considered by the council on March 22.
"It is not just the building, it is the approach to it that's equally important," added Carter. "The public space at the front of it is as big as Millennium Square, so it's a significant opportunity to make a real statement."
Ryk Downes said he'd read some letters in the Yorkshire Evening Post which had been critical of the location. He said Sweet Street and Elland Road could have been alternative sites which may have had better public transport links.
Carter, who accused the letter-writers of having an agenda, said the location was perfect for drawing inward investment into the city centre.
"It's a 12,500 seater arena, not a football stadium," he added. "We have 30,000 people in Leeds centre for the Christmas lights switch-on and we don't have problems with dispersing them. The railway and bus stations are 10 minutes walk fro the arena and every major city centre car park is within walking distance."
Source : guardian