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Headingley Carnegie Pavilion

1 Headingley Stadium Headingley community has an ambivalent relationship with Headingley Stadium.
1.1 On the positive side, the Stadium puts Headingley on the map. Headingley is known as a sporting venue, not only throughout the UK, but also throughout the world.
1.2 On the negative side: (a) The Stadium is the biggest eyesore in the neighbourhood (the Kirkstall Lane frontage comprises the rear-sides of stands and a metal-clad fence, both of which function as little more than billboards; the St Michael's Lane frontage comprises car parks and outsize stands, aggravated by their sheer white facades, dominating the neighbouring community).* (b) Match-days have a major impact on local amenity, in terms of car-parking and anti-social behaviour.

2 Pavilion Structure The proposal for a new Headingley Carnegie Pavilion (in place of the present Winter Shed) on Kirkstall Lane goes some way to rectify some of the negative aspects of the Stadium.
2.1 The design of the new building would be an asset to the neighbourhood: (a) the scale and design of the building avoids the aggressive impact of other stands; (b) the entrance adds a small greenspace to the frontage; (c) the boundary fence is transparent, and allows for a broader passage by the Stadium.
2.2 The main disadvantage of the present design is the colour of the facing. (a) Tones of pink/purple are not harmonious, either with the dominant green, nor with the local environment. (b) Alternatives might include white panels (cf cricket whites) or red/brown (cf local brick buildings).

3 Pavilion Function The function of the proposed Pavilion however reinforces the negative impact of the Stadium - by aligning it with the main problem affecting Headingley, studentification.
3.1 Due to the expansion of Leeds' two universities, the Stadium is already surrounded on all sides by residential properties which have largely been converted to student accommodation. This not only provides the Stadium with a run-down environment (making the Stadium and its surroundings extremely unattractive for paying visitors and a poor advertisement for the City), but it also (more seriously) profoundly damages the cohesion and sustainability of the local community. Currently, there are signs that there may be some alleviation of the problem - the last thing the community needs, therefore, is anything that would tip the balance back again.
3.2 However, the proposal to use the Pavilion for teaching accommodation by Leeds Met (together with existing use of the Carnegie Stand) effectively turns Headingley Stadium into a third campus of the University. Leeds Met's plans might be to reduce the numbers of students taught in & around Headingley (including the Beckett's Park campus) in some degree (from 50% to 45% of their total). But this is at the expense of significant new provision for over 1,000 students in the heart of the community, rather than at its edge. "Over 50% of Tourism, Hospitality & Events students live within convenient walking/cycling distance of the Pavilion" - already.** The construction of the Pavilion can only result in an increase in this proportion. The Carnegie Stand, for instance, has already attracted a new student residence on St Michael's Lane. The Pavilion development therefore entails a decrease in the amenity and indeed sustainability of the local community.

4 Conclusion Despite the positive impact that it would have on the Kirkstall Lane streetscene, the increased negative impact of Headingley Stadium on local sustainability far outweighs any advantage that the Pavilion development might bring. Leeds HMO Lobby therefore opposes the present Headingley Carnegie Pavilion proposal.

*Area Committee, Headingley & Hyde Park NDS, Interim Appraisal, March 2008
**YCCC, Headingley Carnegie Pavilion: Proposed Development, Summary Leaflet, March 2008

Leeds HMO Lobby, March 2008


Leeds HMO Lobby
email: hmolobby@hotmail.com website: www.hmolobby.org.uk/leeds