Anger grows over removal of Bramley Shopping Centre benches

Replacing old Bramley: Bramley Shopping Centre. Photo: Google

Shoppers and councillors have reacted with dismay that all public seating has been removed from Bramley Shopping Centre

The centre was bought by investors London Cambridge Properties (LCP) for £10 million earlier this year and the company says seating was removed as it was causing an obstruction on the pathways.

But shoppers have expressed concerns after at least 15 seats were removed yesterday by workmen. Pensioner Bridie Sheehan, told WLD:

“I’m disgusted. I rely on those seats to rest when I go shopping. What an inconsiderate thing to do to just take them all away. They could have kept some of them.”

Dozens of shoppers have taken to social media to vent their dismay. One said on Facebook:

“I know a lot of people in the community that love going to centre just to get out and meet their friends, a lot with disabilities or elderly. The seating is so needed. How bad is that of them – will lose a lot of custom? They Should look after the people who use the centre.”

Another posted:

“I’ve been raging about this all day. I’m bad on my legs and rely on those seats to rest when shopping or even just passing through. My mother also needs them when she is shopping at Tesco as she has a terminal condition.

“So many people local to Bramley are elderly and/or disabled and need those seats.”

And another added:

“It’s a community hub, to sit chat and socialise. Meeting people doing the shopping, having a coffee, waiting for a queue to reduce at the post office and a lot more.”

Bramley & Stanningley councillors Kevin Ritchie, Caroline Gruen and Jools Heselwood are also taking up the case after receiving complaints. They said in a statement issued to WLD that they were disappointed the centre’s new owners had taken the decision and added:

“With the assistance of the office of Rachel Reeves MP we contacted the new owners of the shopping centre to express our and the community’s concerns about this. We sought to establish the rationale behind these removals and plans to replace them, pointing out our view public seating is a valued resource, particularly for older customers.

“Follow-up correspondence has made clear our opposition to this and we are seeking an urgent meeting to discuss finding a solution and establishing a good working relationship going forwards, as we had with the previous owners.

“The site is of great importance and a valued asset in our community.”

The councillors have also been informed that in July LCP will reduce the free parking on site from two hours 30 minutes to two hours.

A spokesman for LCP, which manages Bramley Shopping Centre, said the decision was taken in shoppers’ best interests and added:

“The benches were removed because they were causing an obstruction on the common area pathways.

“Any decisions made are done so with the best interests of our tenants and shoppers and we will consider if new outdoor seating arrangements can be made once we’ve had chance to assess the impact of the change.

“However, there is external seating outside Costa Coffee and retailers can request the same by applying to the landlord for its consideration.” 

LCP bought Bramley Shopping Centre on behalf of Sheet Anchor Investments, one of the LCP Group of managed companies. They have acquired £80m of shopping centres in recent months, including Trafford, Daventry, Sheffield and Kent.

LCP’s purchase of Bramley was first mentioned in press releases regarding the purchase of other UK centres in May.


  1. The late great Councillor Denise Atkinson once said to me ‘Bramley Shopping Centre appears to hate its own customers’. Had a few changes of ownership since then but I think she was absolutely right.

  2. Wouldn’t have anything to do with a certain homeless gentleman and his two dogs who still sat in the area even after being moved out of the shade? Seems excessive.

  3. A great example of corporate owned space and greed ignoring the basic human needs of it’s own customers. Benches attract customers and help Bramley shopping centre to be more appealing and also more comfortable for old people. LCP should consider this from the point of view of customers using the centre and demonstrate some basic good sense and good will to the people of Bramley by putting these benches back. In the past the centre was under used because it didn’t serve the needs of it’s customers. Not a great idea to go down that route again..

  4. It’s not just the elderly who need to be able to sit – as a disabled person, I am unable to walk for long periods of time, so the benches were a life-saver for me! It looks like I’ll have to do even MORE shopping online!

    This is nothing more than discrimination – ageism, ableism and classism (if the above comment about a homeless person is a factor too!)

    Bramley centre will lose a lot of customers if people who are unable to walk for long (regardless of age) are unable to shop there anymore because of the lack of facilities.

    It was always lovely to see people sat on the benches, talking with friends, taking a rest, or just having a set to eat their pasty from Greggs!

    It seems criminal for a company whose closest office is almost 150 miles away, to be making decisions that affect the lives of countless people in a community so far away!

  5. Both Leeds City Council and the Owners need to address this failure of a duty of care immediately. The privatisation of public space can not continue to be tolerated, nor can the discrimation of who is seemingly sociably acceptable to use the space. The Council needs to assert itself.

  6. Bramley shopping centre new landlords cause a lot of upset with local shoppers by deciding to remove all the seating around the centre saying it’s to stop antisocial behaviour, they not taking into account the amount of elderly people or people with disabilities using the centre who shop n then stop for a sit down , now they can’t stop for a rest which as an able bodied person I think is absolutely ridiculous

  7. It appears to be a master plan to ensure control of people’s movement. By directing the flow of people with money to spend in their tills.
    Excluding the vulnerable people and children from visiting, which would save them costs in security and managing the shopping mall.
    As these people are being discriminated against and denied access in the name of capatilism by not being served any cash from this group.

  8. In these trying times, part of the Mental Wellness Initiative is the ‘Get Britain Talking’ campaign. People sit and chat to friends they’ve not been able to see for a long time, even say a friendly hello to passing strangers. It’s what makes Bramley a community.
    These seats did more good, than harm. Please put them back.

  9. The landlords claiming the seats caused obstruction is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard, and patently newspeak nonsense. Notwithstanding that, might a bit of consultation have been in order, rather than just providing the community with a fait accompli? Surely a cooperative and open relationship is better than a confrontational one, for all parties. Other costs, such as social costs, should be considered as well as purely economic ones.

    I understand that the various vacant units have had their relative rentals largely increased from what they were before. Is there another agenda behind these decisions?

  10. So the removal of the benches at Bramley shopping centre was because they caused obstruction so what was the company excuse for removing the bench at the back of the Tesco trolley shed The decision to remove all benches at Bramley was appalling and I will be doing my shopping elsewhere Also with Covid are we not suppose to sit in well aired areas


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