£125m ‘eco village’ plan for Leeds

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Plans have been unveiled for a huge £125million ‘eco-village’ development in Leeds which could, it is hoped, make the city a pioneer in environmentally friendly urban regeneration.

Sustainable development company Citu has drawn together the blueprint for a Climate Innovation District to form part of the wider South Bank Leeds regeneration masterplan.

The plan includes more than 500 new low carbon homes alongside manufacturing, leisure, offices and “climate resilient” public realm.

The designs will be based on a model of “progressive” new neighbourhoods in Scandinavia, with input from a leading Swedish architect.

It is hoped the sprawling scheme - on 15 acres of brownfield land in the city’s former industrial heartlands - could become a key part of the city’s development plans for the South Bank, itself one of the largest, most ambitious city centre regeneration projects in Europe.

Chris Thompson, managing director and founder of Citu, said: “We are hugely excited to be launching what we expect will be a catalyst for the industry to help our cities transition towards being zero carbon.

“This is the biggest challenge of our generation and we need a step change in the way we develop our cities to reduce energy consumption in buildings and transport.

“We can make this into a viable economic model by using the latest technology and innovation from across the world.

“The Climate Innovation District, and in particular South Bank Leeds, presents an enormous opportunity for Leeds to be the first city in the UK, and possibly Europe, to create an ecologically pioneering district of this scale.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We very much welcome Citu’s investment in South Bank Leeds and their ambition to create a Climate Innovation District.

“As well as providing sustainable and affordable housing with great new outdoor spaces that will bring families back into the centre of the city, the project will also offer job opportunities for local people. “We look forward to watching the development take shape.”

Citu will be releasing further details about the development in late 2016, with the first residents to occupy homes from early 2017, and final completion by 2022.