Plan to breathe new life into Leeds community

Little London is one of Leeds's poorest areas.
Little London is one of Leeds's poorest areas.
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Fresh details have been revealed about plans to regenerate the heart of one of the most deprived parts of Leeds.

City council bosses announced in February that they would be pressing ahead with proposals for a new ‘community hub’ in Little London.

Now a report to the council’s south and west plans panel has set out more information about what is on the drawing board. Proposals for the site, which is off Oatland Lane and Lovell Park Road, include:

* Refurbishment or rebuilding of the area’s existing community centre;

* Demolition of a number of “run down” council-owned retail units;

* Opening of a new local convenience store;

* Expansion of Little London Primary School.

The council report says planning applications for the various elements of the scheme are due to be submitted between now and September this year.

It also says the local authority is in talks with a “national retailer” with a view to the sale and redevelopment of part of the site.

Confirmation of the council’s commitment to the community hub project coincided with news that a wider housing scheme in Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck had been delayed. As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, work was due to begin in the first half of 2013 on improvements to hundreds of council homes.

In February, however, the council revealed that, even in a best case scenario, the scheme would not get under way until October. The delay followed a ruling from the Government that the council and the private sector consortium picked to carry out the work could not part-fund it with £140m borrowed from the banks.

Ministers said the council and its private sector partner needed to instead pursue alternative funding options that would deliver better value for money.

l A council study published last year named Little London and neighbouring Sheepscar as two of Leeds’s “very deprived” areas.

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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