Manslaughter threat over Leeds tower block design

Grant Prior 12 years ago
Share

Leeds City Council could be charged with corporate manslaughter over designs for the Bridgewater Place tower which have been blamed for the death of a pedestrian.

An inquest into the death of Edward Slaney, from Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax was halted last week.

Slaney died after being crushed by a lorry that was blown off all four wheels in a notoriously windy area near Bridgewater Place.

The inquest heard that the lorry “floated through the air like a hot air balloon” in gale-force winds before landing on the 35-year-old on March 10 last year.

The Yorkshire Post reported that Leeds Coroner’s court was told that “freakishly high” speeds of between 67mph and 79mph were recorded near the 367ft-tall building that day.

After hearing evidence about the design and construction of the 32-storey tower, Coroner Melanie Williamson, said: “I’m concerned having heard all the evidence there may be an offence of corporate manslaughter by one or more of the organisations.

“I’m obliged to adjourn this inquest pending further inquiries by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

The building was developed by Bridgewater Place Limited. Company director Chris Gilman told the Post: “This was a tragic accident. Different bodies were employed to do their job. They have done their jobs as best they can.

“Whether the problem is anyone’s fault is another question.”

A spokesman for Bridgewater Place Ltd said: “As originally stated, all building and planning regulations were fully adhered to in the development of Bridgewater Place.

“As part of the requirements for obtaining planning permission, Leeds City Council specifically requested that a comprehensive wind tunnel analysis was conducted to assess the effect of the building on the surrounding area.

“This was carried out by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and was required prior to construction starting on site.”

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “We are surprised and disappointed by the coroner’s decision.

“The police investigation carried out before the inquest resumed was full and thorough and it found that the council had been proactive in recognising the issues and reacting to them.

“We are working urgently with the developer to achieve the best solution to the wind generated problems around Bridgewater Place to ensure the safety of highway users. This was a tragic incident and we convey our deepest condolences to the family.”

Latest news

Plan in for £3bn Lincolnshire mega data centre

3.3m sq ft Humber Tech Park will be one of Europe's largest data centres
23 hours ago

Green light for Digbeth 1,300 homes scheme

Warner’s Fields scheme to start with excavation and landscaping of the River Rea
23 hours ago

Flagship biodiversity net gain scheme flawed

NAO warns Government's flagship green development scheme at risk of failure
22 hours ago

£210m M3 Junction 9 upgrade gains consent

VolkerFitzpatrick to start work in early 2025 on Winnall roundabout, near Winchester
23 hours ago

United Living wins 14-year L&Q homes repairs deal

Trafford housing upkeep deal worth £205m
23 hours ago

£400m Lewisham resi-led scheme advances

Land deal paves way for Amro Partners' 1,000-home London scheme
23 hours ago

McLaren gets go-ahead for Grade II listed Leeds student scheme

Springfield House to be revamped and two new wings added
24 hours ago

Piling giant to fit people alarms on all rigs

Cementation Skanska upgrades site safety systems
1 day ago

Vistry to make £800m profit after subcontractor cost cuts

House builder bullish about shareholder returns after asking suppliers for discounts
2 days ago

Shareholders approve £2.5bn Barratt and Redrow merger

Final hurdle is for the competition regulator to approve the deal.
2 days ago

Green light for £80m Leith waterfront revamp

Build-to-rent homes and student accommodation scheme to be built
2 days ago

Tilbury Douglas clears Interserve legacy jobs to return to profit

Revenue tops £500m in first year as standalone contractor
3 days ago

Land deal paves way for Manchester civil service office hub

Government buys five acres at former Central Retail Park
2 days ago

Speller Metcalfe wins Wolverhampton library upgrade

Full works are due to start in the autumn
2 days ago

Skills shortage puts big infrastructure projects at risk

Government failing as an intelligent client and now over-reliant on consultancies
3 days ago

Contractors face further insulation board price hikes

Cost of PIR insulation boards set to rise another 10%
3 days ago

Henry Boot wins £36m Rotherham Markets job

Project involves upgrading existing market and building a new library
3 days ago

Keltbray hires new head of infrastructure procurement

Lukasz Olszewski will oversee rail, energy and highways business units
3 days ago

Tunnel fit out robot to revolutionise civils work

Costain and VVB Engineering part of innovative consortium
3 days ago

Funding deal for £86m wind turbine test centre

Latest investment at National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth
4 days ago

Plan in for Manchester ‘upside-down’ 18-storey tower

Landmark cantilevered NXQ building plan for city Northern Quarter
4 days ago

London 25km Super Sewer hooked up for commissioning

Tideway completes connection to existing Lee Tunnel sewer system
4 days ago

£200m Lincoln ring-road approved

North Hykeham Relief Road granted planning permission
4 days ago

£1bn Manchester Airport City plan rebooted as new sci-tech hub

Plan pivots from offices to science and manufacturing campus, called MIX Manchester
5 days ago

Record results at maintenance specialist Renew

Infrastructure maintenance work continues to pay off for contractor
4 days ago

Barhale lands £21m shaft scheme for Thames Water

Civils specialist bags latest upgrade deal on Thames Water Ring Main
4 days ago

Caddick names new north east director

Former Laing O'Rourke project lead joins Yorkshire contractor
4 days ago

Mount Anvil wins London Camden estate rebuild

Deverloper wins £133m Bacton Phase 2 development in Gospel Oak
5 days ago

London Met Uni seeks firm for £280m estate upgrade

A single partner contractor will deliver 10-year building upgrade plan
5 days ago

Top 30 M&E contractors set for growth – ranking

Growth in data centres and commercial refits creates optimism for year ahead
5 days ago

Contractor services