Renewed hopes for Leeds city centre housing boom

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A BID for major new Government funding - which it is hoped will help realise Leeds’s South Bank and high-speed rail regeneration vision and trigger a city centre housing boom - is expected to be submitted next month.

Council bosses have just signed off permission for the preparation of a detailed business plan for a “significant” cash pot from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, which it is hoped will help “unlock” and “uplift” housing and other wider economic growth opportunities.

It will also help win over developers, and set the city up for the arrival of the HS2 high-speed rail project, it is hoped.

A report just approved by City Development director Martin Farrington says the council is keen to develop proposals to “unlock and accelerate growth in the city centre housing market” as there are now “a range of residential sites and investment opportunities in the city centre requiring final stimulus and developer confidence to convert to commitment”.

Further work is also needed in the land parcels outside the immediate South Bank area, at the “city fringes”, to scope out and establish more investment and regeneration opportunities, the council report says.

It’s all part of plans to “assist the city centre and city centre rim in becoming an area of much more rapid housing growth”, the report adds.

As previously reported, the South Bank masterplan involves the redevelopment of 136 hectares of land from Holbeck Urban Village to Leeds Dock, and represents one of the largest city centre regeneration initiatives in Europe.

Housing is integral to the scheme, with around 4,000 new homes expected to be drawn into the final blueprint.

The council is currently developing its ‘Leeds Living’ prospectus, which will lay out in detail its plans to “build investor/developer confidence and galvanise a city centre housing boom of both “scale and quality”.