SENIOR councillors in Leeds will next week consider a proposal to invest a possible £85 million in infrastructure to help deliver around 10,000 new homes in the city centre.
The meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board will discuss work being undertaken to provide new and affordable homes together with supporting infrastructure for a mixed community in the city centre.
According to the council, a key element of this plan is a submission of a bid to the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to secure the £85 million of funding to invest in the city centre to support the development of the new homes.
There are currently approximately 25,000 people living in the city centre in Leeds, but with demand for city centre living rising, the council says there is a capacity for up to 20,000 more homes in the future. If successful, this bid to the HIF would accelerate and unlock the delivery of 10,000 new homes in the city centre by 2033, with work potentially starting on new infrastructure works and supporting improvements before the end of this year.
The overarching ‘Leeds Living’ programme would see an improved range of housing options and investments in an expanded city centre, with enhanced connectivity with surrounding communities, improved transport links and accessibility plus new shared amenities such as schools, health and leisure facilities together with public spaces for recreation.
In order to ensure a mix of housing options, the council has set out an ambition for 20% of all new homes in the city centre to be some form of “affordable” housing. They will also look to maximise the benefits of using the low-carbon heat offered by the new district heating network.
To help achieve the aim of having a mixed community in the city centre, the council is working with developers, landowners and partners to address issues in the housing market.
“The ongoing success of the South Bank programme shows what can be achieved by targeted investment in a range of new facilities to expand the city centre and make it a place people and families want to live and work in,” said Councillor Richard Lewis, the city council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning.
“We know more and more people are now wanting to live in city centres having all key amenities within easy reach. This investment would allow us to deliver even more positive growth in the city centre, with a vibrant mixed community and new facilities for everybody to benefit from.
“By enabling much improved connections with neighbourhoods adjoining the city centre we can ensure greater opportunities for residents to access jobs and learning opportunities as well as facilities and services.”