The scheme will include 28 one-bedroom, 25 two-bedroom and five three-bedroom apartments designed to a high specification throughout. The homes will be energy efficient, with heat pumps providing hot water, EV charging points and cycle storage to facilitate green travel. The homes will also have a flexible layout, including workspace areas to accommodate the increase in home working.
Outside will be landscaped with grass and trees to enhance biodiversity and each of the ground floor apartments will have their own garden.
The £12 million scheme is the first new-build development to be built by affordable housing provider, 54North Homes*, which manages over 3,000 homes throughout Yorkshire. *54NorthHomes was formed in December 2022 through a merger between Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association and York Housing Association and is now a subsidiary of the Karbon Homes Group.
The new development has been designed by Brewster Bye Architects and will be built by Caddick Construction. Grant support has been provided by Homes England Strategic Partnership funding, Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through its devolved Brownfield Housing Fund.
Joanna Chambers, Director of Assets and Growth at 54North Homes, comments: “We have been working closely with Leeds City Council for almost four years to develop the plans for this attractive, new development and are excited that building work is finally beginning. There is a significant need for more affordable housing in central Leeds and this scheme will regenerate a currently unused area of land into a vibrant living space close to the excellent transport links and amenities the city centre has to offer.”
The land at Railway Street was sold by the council to 54North Homes for the delivery of much-needed affordable housing, with all initial tenancies due to be made available to applicants on the council’s housing register. The council’s grant support to the scheme is funded through pooled financial contributions towards affordable housing delivery secured in planning agreements on developments across the city and means that all the new homes can be let at low-cost social rent.
An average of nearly 500 affordable homes have been delivered in the city over each of the last five years, with that annual figure expected to rise to around 750 over the next three years.
Councillor Jess Lennox, Leeds City Council’s executive member for housing, said: “Increasing the provision of affordable housing forms a key part of our efforts to ensure Leeds is a city that has opportunities and communities for all.
“The progress we have made and are continuing to make in this area is illustrated perfectly by schemes such as this one at Railway Street, where council grant support and land assets are being used to deliver high-quality, energy efficient homes and attractive outdoor spaces.
“It’s great to see building work now getting under way and we will watch with interest – and no small amount of pride – as the development takes shape over the coming months.”
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “As someone who grew up in social housing, I understand the importance of having a safe and affordable place to call home. Secure housing impacts positively on every aspect of a person’s life, so I was thrilled to be able to help fund dozens of good quality, energy-efficient and sustainable homes at Railway Street in Leeds.
“As Mayor, I have pledged to support the delivery of new, affordable and sustainable homes across West Yorkshire, and I will continue to work alongside our partners such as Leeds City Council and 54North Homes to deliver that pledge.”
Associate, Gareth Jackson, from Brewster Bye Architects, said: “Our design centred on creating a stand-out development that not only looks great but works hard from a sustainability perspective. The undulating, lively form of the building, which is orientated north to south to continue the urban grain of Saxton Gardens, is both attractive but practical, as it minimises noise reflectance. All set within a green and richly landscaped area, the urban community garden will foster neighbourhood interaction, with separate access for pedestrians and vehicles.”