Thursday, 15 November 2012

New tree jewel in the crown as Dortmund Square gets makeover

Caption: An illustration of how Dortmund Square will look with the new central tree in honour of Her Majesty The Queen
Work will begin next week on a makeover to Dortmund Square in Leeds city centre which will include the planting of a signature tree in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

From Monday 19 November, work will begin on a refurbishment project which will run until February to improve walkways, street lighting and seating at the square located off The Headrow to open up and enhance the space for visitors to the city centre, shoppers and families.

The first phase of the project being carried out by Leeds City Council will see the four Whitebeam Sorbus trees which currently line the square being removed by officers from the parks and countryside service.

Due to the lack of adequate rooting depth, the trees have set down roots that over time have lifted the surrounding flagstones creating uneven surfaces and causing hazards for pedestrians walking by.

After the trees have been removed, the existing flagstones will be taken up and a hole will be excavated in the centre of the square early in the New Year. This will host the new London Plane tree to be put in place in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which was celebrated this summer.

The tree will initially be six metres tall and weigh 1.5 tonnes. It will be placed in the centre of the square, in a tree pit which will contain state-of-the-art engineering to allow for healthy long-term root growth and drainage.

It is estimated that once fully grown, the tree will reach over 100 feet in height (30 metres) and live well beyond 100 years.

Once the tree has been installed, the surface of the square will then be recreated with new flagstones put in place, while there will also be improvements to lighting, the existing benches being replaced and CCTV cameras being realigned.

Leeds City Council executive member for the environment Councillor Mark Dobson said:

“Dortmund Square is one of the busiest thoroughfairs in the city centre, and this project will not only see a fantastic new tree put in place in honour of Her Majesty The Queen, it will allow us to greatly enhance the overall look of the square and open up the space making it safer and more attractive to pedestrians and visitors.

“We are very mindful of the need not to cause any disruption in the pre-Christmas period, so the only difference pedestrians will see until the New Year will be the removal of the existing trees with the remainder of the work beginning in January.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Car supermarket fined for ignoring the signs

Failure to remove unauthorised advertising at the side of the road has driven a car sales company to court.

Car Craft Automotive Group Ltd received a £1,000 fine at Leeds Magistrates Court on 8 November for not removing unofficial signs put up at the roadside.

The company was also ordered to pay £440.21 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

The signs promoting the car supermarket were spotted in Morley and Tingley and Car Craft Automotive Group Ltd were asked to remove them. Despite several follow-up warnings, the advertising placards remained in place.

A legal notice under Section 132 of the Highways Act 1980 was issued to company’s head office in Rochdale. The notice required immediate action to remove all the signs but a few days later they still had not been taken down.

Unauthorised signs at the side of the road can distract drivers, cover legitimate road signs and clutter up the street making them look unattractive.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development and the economy, said:

“We can’t allow this type of unauthorised promotion to spread unchecked across Leeds where it has the potential to jeopardise road safety. I hope this will serve as a stark reminder to play by the rules.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“Businesses are entitled to advertise and play their part in our supporting our local economy, but only if that is done in accordance with the rules to keep our city safe, clean and green.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Brown bin collections suspended for winter

Collection of brown bins will be suspended for winter from December.

Due to very low demand for the service at this time of year, regular collection of brown bins will stop after the last normal collection on Saturday 1 December.

With fewer jobs to do in the garden over the winter the bins don’t fill up as quickly or at all.

Brown bins put out for collection from Sunday 2 December will not be emptied. However, garden waste can still be recycled at the city’s nine household waste sorting sites throughout winter.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for the environment, said:

“Recycling your garden waste goes a long way to helping us cut the amount of rubbish sent to landfill. However, we put less and less waste in brown bins at this time of year, so the collection service is being temporarily suspended.

“This means that the festive season will soon be upon us so residents should look out for information on changes to their collections in December and January.

“We’ve seen some of the best recycling figures ever this year. I know that with the continued support of residents and staff throughout the year and new recycling services on offer, we can continue to smash these figures to make Leeds cleaner and greener.”

The final collection of brown bins will be on Saturday 1 December and collections will re-start in March 2013.

Over 207,000 Leeds homes are now on a brown bin collection route for garden waste. Fallen leaves, twigs, hedge clippings, fallen fruit, and grass cuttings put in brown bins contributes around 10% to Leeds' overall annual recycling rate.

Information on Christmas bin collections is being sent to residents later this month and will be available at soon.

New calendars showing regular collection dates will be distributed in February.

If you have any feedback about waste services in Leeds or would like to report any concerns about bins please call 0113 222 4406 or report it at

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577