Leeds council wants government help to build 10,000 new homes in city centre

The number of homes in Leeds City Centre could almost double over the coming years, a report from the authority has suggested.

An influential committee of councillors will meet next week to discuss its bid to the government for around £85m worth of government funding to help speed up the development of another 10,000 homes in the centre of Leeds.

The meeting will be held at Civic Hall on Wednesday, February 13.

The meeting will be held at Civic Hall on Wednesday, February 13.

But council officers suggest there is space for up to 20,000 extra homes, which would increase the total number to 45,000.

The report, which is set to go before the authority’s executive board next Wednesday, states: “There are currently around 25,000 residents in the city centre, largely in the private rented sector, but there is capacity for up to 20,000 new homes, significant resident population growth and an opportunity to ensure greater diversity of tenure.

“It is one of the most sustainable locations for new housing, close to jobs and major transport connections and providing for the reuse of previously developed land at a higher density than is achievable in less central locations.”

It added that, despite the city’s strong housing growth over the last 10 years, housing delivery in the city centre has underperformed, with only 395 houses built per year, despite planning approvals for around 8,000 new city centre homes.

And, although there has been a recent increase in city centre house-building, the report claims that some schemes are hamstrung by a lack of connectivity and local infrastructure.

The authority therefore is preparing to make a bid for a slice of the government’s £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) in March this year. It hopes an investment of around £85m will help speed up housebuilding in the city centre, and help to deliver 10,000 new city centre homes by 2033.

If the bid is successful, the council claims infrastructure works will begin in the city centre by the end of the year.