Friday, 30 July 2010

Work starts transforming row of shops into green homes

Caption: Chief executive of Yorkshire Housing Association Ged Walsh (left) and the Mayor of Morley, Councillor Paul Cook officially mark the start of work at Morley Bottoms

A row of empty shops is to be transformed into 22 environmentally friendly homes for people from an area of Leeds.

Work has now begun on the £4 million pound regeneration scheme at Chapel Hill in Morley Bottoms, which will completely regenerate shops and flats dating from 1908 to provide the much needed two-bed apartments by March next year.

The Mayor of Morley, Councillor Paul Cook, and chief executive of Yorkshire Housing Association, Ged Walsh, along with officials and local councillors officially marked the beginning of work on the site, which has already been cleared for construction.

The new development – built through a partnership between Leeds City Council, Yorkshire Housing, Aire Valley Homes Leeds and the Homes and Communities Agency – will be built to extremely high environmental standards. The roof tiles will generate electricity for the homes, also exporting energy back to the National Grid.

There will also be a Local Lettings Plan designed to help local people rent a home, as there is a need in the area for such accommodation. It is hoped the development will free up under-occupied council housing in the area.

As well as providing the site for the development, the council has also provided gap funding of £415,436 to enable it to go ahead. Yorkshire Housing was successful in bidding for a £1.398m grant from the HCA.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing, said:
"Chapel Hill further demonstrates the commitment from both the council and our partners to deliver more affordable housing across Leeds, even in these difficult economic times.
“These new apartments will compliment the overall regeneration of the Morley Town Centre area and are designed to have a minimal impact on the environment.
“They will be aimed at customers who are under-occupying larger family sized homes which will assist in increasing the number of family sized homes available to customers in the Morley area. That way everyone wins."

Mervyn Jones, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Housing, said:
“We are delighted that work on the site is well underway and we have had a really positive reception from the local community.
”These properties are a wonderful example of how through partnership working, Yorkshire Housing is able to deliver modern and environmentally-friendly homes to the people who need them most.”

Naz Parkar, Head of Area for West Yorkshire at the Homes and Communities Agency said:
“I am delighted that our £1.3 million investment has enabled Yorkshire Housing to deliver these new homes with our partners at the Local Authority.
“This project will enhance the neighbourhood and help develop a sense of place by creating homes where people can not only afford to live but also want to.”

Notes to editors:
Yorkshire Housing is one of the largest social housing providers dedicated to Yorkshire, managing over 14,000 homes and providing a wide range of other services across the region. For more information visit:

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Our role is to create opportunity for people to live in high-quality, sustainable places. We provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment. For more information visit

The buildings before work began:

And the same site after clearance:

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937