Fifty-nine new council homes have been built across five sites in the Gipton and Osmondthorpe areas of Leeds. The Nevilles Scheme has provided 32 new homes across three sites in Osmondthorpe, and 27 more new homes have been delivered on two sites in Gipton, at The Beeches.
The developments include two and three bedroom family homes, bungalows and fully adapted properties to meet households with specialist needs.
All new council homes are delivered to the ‘Leeds Standard’, ensuring homes are designed to meet both tenants’ current and future needs. Homes are also built to support the wellbeing of tenants through good use of space and energy efficient designs which reduce running costs contributing to reducing fuel poverty. This is part of the council strategy to challenge the stereotype of poor quality council provision.
Councillor Debra Coupar, deputy leader and Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities 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 remain largely on track.”
Mick Hill, senior operations manager at Willmott Dixon, said:
“We are excited to be able to handover two hugely important housing schemes in July. The Beeches and The Neville’s developments will make a huge difference to their local communities by providing something that is always in high demand; housing.
“Over the duration of The Beeches and The Neville’s scheme, Willmott Dixon committed to investing ten per cent back into the local community, equating to a monetary value of £930k. This has involved working with local school and colleges, on community projects, as well as ensuring that at least 80 per cent of local spend and labour was within 40 miles of the site.”
Working with partners, the council has been able to maintain progress with new build development involving around 700 new homes at various stages. More new homes will be completed in the next few years enabling the council to meet its aspiration to increase its affordable housing offer.
Notes for editors:
Despite the significant impact of Covid-19 on the city it has been possible to continue to progress the vast majority of the new council house building programme, albeit with some delays.
This scheme is part of part a wider council programme to deliver 1,500 high quality council homes over five years with total investment of over £300 million.
The construction contract for the scheme was awarded to Willmott Dixon on the 1st March 2019. Willmott Dixon are committed to community engagement and maximising the employment and skills outcomes from the project. To date they have arranged a school visit to the site; completed an ‘industrial cadets’ programme with students; as well as workshops and mock interviews with construction students interested in work experience in the field. A number of apprentices have also been working on the scheme, some of which have progressed into employment.
As of January 2020, there has been a total of £147,054 in social return on investment, and Wilmott Dixon have also pledged to ensure that spending for the project is local to the construction site; 34% of the overall spend has been within 10 miles of the site.