Willmott Dixon delivers 59 new council homes in east Leeds

The Beeches, Beech Rise (Demo)

The construction specialists Willmott Dixon have completed two new social housing developments in Leeds on behalf of Leeds City Council.

The £9.4 million schemes in Gipton and Osmondthorpe, named the Beeches and the Nevilles, feature 59 new homes in total with 32 units at the Nevilles and 27 at the Beeches.

The two sites feature a range of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes which will all be exclusively reserved for social housing.

The developments will be well-suited for older people as they include bungalows and disabled units, featuring elements such as accessibility bathrooms, hoist lifts, stairlifts, and grab rails.

Stuart Kerr, director for Willmott Dixon, said: “Social housing is in high demand in Leeds, so we’re proud to have delivered these much-needed homes on behalf of Leeds City Council.

“Furthermore, each unit has been adapted to fit the resident’s needs and provide a bespoke solution, making them even more valuable to those with specific accessibility requirements.”

With all 59 homes meeting Leeds City Council’s housing standard in terms of design, space and energy efficiency, the homes will help lower residents’ energy bills, contributing to a reduction in fuel poverty.

The two new developments form a key part of Leeds City Council’s Housing Growth Programme.

The Programme aims to contribute over 300 new council homes towards Leeds’ overall target of 1,230 new affordable homes a year starting from 2019.

Cllr Debra Coupar, deputy leader and executive member for communities at Leeds City Council, said: “I am delighted, despite the current situation, to see more new council homes being built and to meet some of the new residents.

“We supported a number of families to move into their new homes just before lockdown and have recently re-commenced lettings, which should enable the rest of the new homes to be occupied.

“We will continue to work with contractors and partners to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff, and despite this unprecedented time, the continued progress with developing our ambitious plans around new housing provision remains largely on track.”

The developments were designed by Halsall Lloyd Partnership and were procured under Yorkshire and the Humber’s YORBuild2 framework.

In building the developments, Willmott Dixon has contributed to Leeds City Council’s social value charter by creating job, skills and apprenticeship opportunities and addressing social, economic and environmental challenges.

Kerr added: “As with all our projects, we aim to leave a lasting legacy on the communities we work within – throughout the project, we’ve invested 10% back into the community, equating to a monetary value of £940,000. This saw us working with schools and colleges, and on local projects, as well as ensuring that at least 80% of spend and labour is within 40 miles of the site.”

As part of the developers’ involvement with the nearby Meadowfield Primary School, children were invited to come up with ideas for a name for a street at the Nevilles. Cllr Coupar selected the winning name Meadowfield Gardens.

Willmott Dixon has recently contributed to other residential schemes across Yorkshire, as it has completed 309 homes in the Doncaster area over the last four years.

Last week, the developer was appointed by Rotherham Council to build three housing developments which will deliver 171 homes in Rotherham town centre.

Image: Beech Rise at the Beeches, one of Willmott Dixon’s developments on behalf of Leeds City Council. Credit: Willmott Dixon.

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