National and Devolved Politics

07.02.19

Leeds council proposes £85m investment in 10,000 new homes for the city centre

A proposed £85m investment in bringing 10,000 new homes to Leeds city centre is set to be discussed by councillors.

Leeds City Council intends to submit a bid for the government’s housing infrastructure fund (HIF) for £85m in order to invest in infrastructure in the city centre, supporting the development of 10,000 homes by 2033.

A report set to go in front of the authority’s executive board on 13 February sets out the plans, but it also suggested that there is space for up for 20,000 extra homes which would see the number of houses in Leeds city centre doubled.

It stated: “There are currently around 25,000 residents in the city centre, largely in the private rented sector, but there is capacity for up to 20,000 new homes, significant resident population growth, and an opportunity to ensure greater diversity of tenure.

“It is one of the most sustainable locations for new housing, close to jobs and major transport connections, and providing for the reuse of previously developed land at a higher density than is achievable in less central locations.”

The council said that despite strong housing growth over the last 10 years, housing delivery in the city centre had underperformed with less than 400 houses built every year, despite planning approval for over 8,000 new homes.

The HIF has total funding of £2.3bn, and if Leeds council’s bid is successful, it said infrastructure works will begin in the city centre by the end of the year.

The council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Richard Lewis, pointed to the ongoing success of Leeds’s South Bank programme, and said it shows what can be achieved by investment in expanding the city centre.

He commented: “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.”

Image credit - kelvinjay

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