Leeds, 5pm: Monday February 17th
BY Daniel Chapman
AKBARS FIGHTING EVICTION
The Indian restaurant has been given notice to leave their Greek Street building by landlord Evans Property Group, who want to demolish it and the automated car park next door and replace both with a boutique Dakota Hotel. The council are currently considering Evans’ plans for the £12m, ten storey building that would face both Greek Street and Bond Court, part of redevelopments in the area including refurbishment of office buildings Yorkshire House, Minerva and Capitol House, but Akbar’s managing director Shabir Hussain says the company are struggling to find a replacement venue for their restaurant, and feel the eviction notice they have received is “heavy handed” given that approval for the new building has yet to be given. “We are fighting the court process because we want to remain in the building, we are an institution in Leeds,” he told the YEP. “We don’t know what the planners are going to say. We can’t understand why, if planning permission has not been formalised, throw a tenant out who has been a good tenant?”
MCALPINE TO BUILD VICTORIA GATE
Developers Hammerson have officially announced Sir Robert McAlpine as the main contractor for the £150m development between Eastgate and Kirkgate Market that will bring John Lewis, a thirty store arcade, restaurants, cafes, a casino and a multi-storey car park to Leeds city centre. Businesses in Eastgate’s southern bookend have been moving out, with Hoagy’s pub one of the last to close ahead of demolition that will also remove the unloved Millgarth police headquarters. Hammerson and Sir Robert McAlpine have worked together before on retail developments at Highcross in Leicester and Cabot Circus in Bristol, and Leeds City Council’s executive member for Leisure and Skills, Lucinda Yeadon, said the council would be working closely with Hammerson and McAlpine to ensure construction jobs will be available locally. “We are committed to ensuring that local people benefit from the new opportunities,” she said, “and to making sure our work with the developer and contractor is tailored effectively to meet the needs of our city.” A mock-up of the Victoria Gate Arcades façade was posted by architects Acme back in October, showing one of the complex brick cladding designs being worked on the for the building.
Leeds Rhinos were victorious in Super League round one for the 14th time in a row at Hull KR, with a twelve minute hat-trick from new signing Tom Briscoe the highlight of a 34–6 win. The second half performance showed what Leeds could be capable of this season, with a tough Hull KR side unable to cope once Rhinos got into their stride. Briscoe was quick to praise his team mates for their part in his debut haul; Kallum Watkins provided the final pass for all three of Briscoe’s tries, and Tom told the YEP: “I’ve come to this club to link up with the likes of Kallum and the half-backs we’ve got here and it is definitely exciting times ahead.”
Both Farsley and Guiseley’s games were called off due to the weather this weekend, but Guiseley are planning improvements to their facilities at Nethermoor; after submitting a planning application for three new stands to the council, the club have posted a statement on their website explaining their plans to improve the ground.
There was no game for Leeds United this weekend either, and frustratingly Charlton’s FA Cup match at Sheffield Wednesday was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, so they could have come up the M1 to play Leeds after all. The concentration at Elland Road remains on the takeover, which is still in the hands of the Football League; while we wait, the BBC report that Massimo Cellino, David Haigh and Brian McDermott all met to make plans this weekend, and the YEP has canvassed fans of Cellino’s current club Cagliari to get an idea of what it’s like to be owned by Massimo.
Born in a Camden pub over a shared love of Seinfeld and hardcore punk, Cheatahs have recently released the self-titled debut album, a ‘roaring mix of ecstatic noise and resounding alt-rock’; they’re playing at the Brudenell Social Club tonight. Chris Ramsey stars in BBC Two sitcom Hebburn and has appeared on Celebrity Juice, 8 Out of 10 Cats, and Soccer AM, where he was shown a red card for misbehaving – an incident he’ll be mulling over at City Varieties tonight, wondering if he’s too dangerous for Saturday morning TV. At Hyde Park Picture House all this week is Her, an original modern love story from Spike Jonze that follows Joaquin Phoenix’s relationship with Scarlett Johansson – in the form of an advanced computer OS.
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