Affordability of Leeds development is questioned at debate

An artist's impression of the 16-storey proposal.
An artist's impression of the 16-storey proposal.
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A development set to change the face of Holbeck has been given the backing of Leeds City Council but concerns have been aired it is at the detriment of people living and working in the area.

Former industrial premises on the corner of Whitehall Road and Springwell Road will be cleared to make way for 224 apartments and a commercial unit after Leeds based developers Citylife were given the go-ahead by members of the City Plans panel at a meeting last week.

The site is currently an eyesore and while it has not been disputed the area is in need of new schemes, issues surrounding affordable housing, as just five per cent of the total scheme is required to be designated affordable, and the way in which the accommodation will be managed has prompted calls for a different system to be implemented.

During the debate Coun Thomas Leadley who represents Morley North for Morley Borough Independents referred to it as “gentrification” of the area.

He said: “The industries that they tend to work in are being driven out in favour of posh flats. It would be a shame if we can’t look at affordable housing for people on modest incomes.”

His sentiments were echoed by Headingley Coun Neil Walshaw (Labour) who added that the design was the type required for the city.

He said: “This kind of approach and what it means for affordable housing has been a concern for everybody but I like the design and the building and potentially it could be quite iconic.

“I am supportive of the design and where we are.”

Approval for the scheme , an image of which has been revealed to City Buzz by Nick Brown Architects, was almost unanimous when it came to the vote barring one abstention.