Construction begins on new timber frame council housing in Leeds Meynell development in Holbeck

Construction has begun to transform a vacant brownfield site into a new council housing development in Leeds.

By Rebecca Marano
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 11:56 am

The Leeds Meynell scheme, in Meynell Approach, Holbeck, will have 14 one bedroom apartment, ten two-bedroom houses and six three-bedroom houses.

Two of the six three-bedroom homes will be located on a satellite site, replacing two old properties that were previously demolished.

The houses will be built in timber frame 'modules' off-site in a innovative timber frame construction process.

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Artist impressions of how the new Leeds Meynell development will look.

Builders construct the elements of the properties in a factory before then before transporting them to site for assembly.

The method uses the same materials, standards and codes as conventionally built homes.

It is said this method is more eco-friendly and allows the build process to be completed more quickly than a traditional build.

The Leeds Meynell scheme is set to be constructed in less than nine months, with the first residents expected to move in by early summer 2022.

Artist impressions of how the new Leeds Meynell development will look.

Managing Director with United Living New Homes North, Mick Holling, said: "Leeds is a thriving and growing city which needs new, good quality housing to meet demand. We look forward to playing a central role in regenerating this area of Leeds and creating much-needed new homes for local people.

"The timber frame sector is transforming the way new homes are built. It offers a comprehensive, energy-efficient and low carbon solution for social housing that is high-quality, affordable and easily accessible and adaptable".

The project is being delivered through Leeds City Council's Housing Growth Programme (CHGP), which aims to build around 1500 new, high-quality social housing units over the next five years.

It will be "100 per cent affordable".

Once completed, the new homes will be managed by the council and will become part of its affordable housing stock,

The homes will be constructed using a 'Fabric first' approach – which involves maximising performance of the materials and components that make up the very fabric of a building.

This will help to achieve a key objective of the project, which is to ensure energy efficiency, lower fuel bills and tackle the fuel poverty problems that some Leeds City Council tenants face.

The eco-friendly scheme will also support the council’s commitment to reduce the city’s direct carbon emissions to net-zero by 2030 and make Leeds a greener, fairer and healthier city.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: "One of Leeds’ biggest priorities is to provide enough housing to meet the needs of a growing population.

"This is why we have developed our programme to build 1,500 new affordable homes over the next 5 years; all of which need to be high quality and accessible.

"Not only will this scheme positively contribute towards this ambition, it will also help us achieve our climate targets by providing people with energy efficient, low carbon homes.

“I look forward to following the progress of this scheme and welcoming our first residents later this year.”

As the principal contractor for the development, United Living will partner with Leeds City Council and William Saunders Architects.

Back in 2019, the council agreed its council housing growth programme, which it had hoped would deliver 300 new council homes a year.

But, according to statistics seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, only 59 new council homes have been built by the programme since June 2019 to November 2021.

A further 268 are on site and yet to be finished.

In addition to this, the authority has bought up another 109 homes in the city.

Even when added together, this comes to a total of just 457 new homes delivered or currently on site in nearly two and a half years – a time period in which the council had hoped that figure to have been closer to around 700.

However, construction has started on a new £40million council housing development in Middleton.

The new six-acre development will be on the Throstle Recreation Ground and former Middleton Skills Centre, just off of Middleton Park Avenue.

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