Multimillion pound South Bank ‘sustainable homes’ district now under construction in Leeds

Jonathan Wilson, of Citu, Coun Richard Lewis, Tom Riordan, Chris Thompson, Citu, Coun Judith Blake and Roger Marsh (left to right) on site. Picture by Simon Dewhurst.
Jonathan Wilson, of Citu, Coun Richard Lewis, Tom Riordan, Chris Thompson, Citu, Coun Judith Blake and Roger Marsh (left to right) on site. Picture by Simon Dewhurst.
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Building work on a new “sustainable neighbourhood” on the South Bank of the River Aire in Leeds has begun.

More than 160 apartments and 150 energy-efficient timber frame houses are set to be built in Citu’s new ‘Climate Innovation District’ on brownfield land off East Street and South Accommodation Road.

The apartments and zero carbon homes will feature rainwater harvesting, solar power and smart technology so that homeowners can control their energy usage remotely.

The residential phase of the development was kick-started by a £7.7million loan from the Leeds City Region Revolving Investment Fund (RIF), a fund established by a partnership of seven local authorities to boost the local economy.

Chris Thompson, director and founder of Citu, said: “This area has long played a key role in Leeds’ history, once the heart of manufacturing in the city.

“It makes sense that it will now be home to a green revolution; a sustainable community where families, downsizers, singletons and couples can live in medium density neighbourhoods that are well designed, low energy and peppered with the necessary amenities to sustain a happy existence.”

The factory-made houses will be manufactured at nearby Citu Works, a plant run by the developer, to ensure they are made locally in controlled conditions.

Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake said: “This project fits perfectly with the regeneration ideals the fund is looking to encourage so we look forward to closely following its development.”

Contractors are now on site and the first homes are due for completion early 2017.