Extra care apartments in Yeadon.
Nick Hill

Leeds City Council housing scheme gets underway

Major plans to provide new council homes for old people are now underway as work on two key developments will begin this week.

Leeds City Council’s flagship extra care scheme is being constructed in Yeadon and new apartments will also be erected in Swarcliffe.

Both schemes are part of the authority’s council house growth programme, which will see approximately 1,000 new homes built over the next three years.

This marks the first time the council will run its own extra care scheme where residents can live independently with 24/7 support tailored to their needs.

On the former Howarth Court site in Yeadon, contractor Henry Boot Construction will build the 45 self-contained apartments.

As well as the 18 one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom apartments with their own front doors and modern kitchens and bathrooms, residents will benefit from a communal lounge, a community room, a salon and bathing suite in a spa setting, an en-suite guest room for visitors and a restaurant run by the council’s Civic Enterprise Leeds.

The former derelict Squinting Cat pub site in Swarcliffe is being transformed with 18 brand new, high-quality, energy efficient apartments.

Yorkshire based building and civil engineering contractor Britcon has been appointed to build the six one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments on the brownfield site which have been designed with older people in mind.

The timber-framed building will be specifically designed to utilize the sunshine with an aim of reducing running and heating costs for tenants.

In addition, each of the one-bedroom flats will be large enough to be converted into two-bedroom properties if needed in the future.

By designing the properties flexibly and to meet the needs of older people, it’s hoped that other much needed council homes can be freed up for families.

Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, said: “We’re making a significant investment in council house building over the next three years and the developments getting underway in Yeadon and Swarcliffe show that we’re delivering a range of affordable housing to suit an older generation.

“With people able to take advantage of housing designed with their needs in mind we can free up other homes for those that need them most and help to improve the quality of our residents’ lives.”

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for health, wellbeing and adults, added: “The new building in Yeadon will be the centrepiece of our plans to provide quality accommodation that suits the needs of our aging population as the first council owned and managed extra care scheme in the city.

“The flexibility offered by the apartments in Swarcliffe also demonstrates that we are delivering housing and care that caters to people’s needs now and in the future.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, also commented: “Getting started on site marks significant milestones in two key projects that will help Leeds become the best city to live in for older people.

“As well as the development exemplifying the best in design, in Swarcliffe we’re bringing a brownfield site back into use and building affordable homes where there was previously an eyesore.”

Tony Shaw, operations director for Henry Boot Construction, said: “We are delighted to have secured this flagship extra care housing project for Leeds City Council. We recognise that this is a significant project for the local community and we look forward to delivering a facility of the highest standard.”

Paul Clarkson, managing director at Britcon, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Leeds City Council and bring forward our expertise in delivering low maintenance, energy efficient and sustainable homes that will revitalise the Swarcliffe site with much needed housing. During the construction programme we will aim to meet key employment and skills social responsibility targets through ongoing engagement.”

Work on both sites are scheduled to be completed by late summer 2016.

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