Scott Hall Square, Leeds
Delivering a choice of environmentally friendly, affordable new homes for local people to rent or buy has been Keepmoat’s ambition at Scott Hall Square in Leeds.
Significant challenges were overcome at the site - not least prolonged wet weather during much of construction - to ensure completion of 24 new homes for sale and rent in May.
Keepmoat worked in partnership with Unity Housing Association and Leeds City Council to achieve construction of this eco-friendly housing development in one of the most disadvantaged areas of the city. The homes are the first new residential properties to be built in the area, which is in the bottom 5% of deprived wards in England, in over 10 years.
The development lies on a brownfield site which had been subject to housing demolition five years before construction began. The homes are a mix of eight bungalows and 16 houses (two, three and four bedrooms). Of these 13 will be for rent through Unity, with 11 for low cost sale.
All homes at Scott Hall Square have been built to an extremely high environmental standard: level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes (equivalent to 2010 Building Regulations Part L). As well as ensuring these homes have a low carbon footprint, it’s also meant homeowners’ energy bills can be kept as low as possible. The homes are 40% more energy efficient than a similar house built to the minimum required building regulation standards.
Eco-features include high levels of insulation in the walls, floors and roofs giving the homes an excellent R value rating. Heating is provided by an energy efficient ‘A-rated’ gas central heating system, with photovoltaic panels delivering a renewable electricity supply to the homes. A number of water saving features have been included such as low flush toilets, reduced flow showers, flow restricted taps and rainwater butts. Recycling bins are included with each property and residents are each given a ‘green guide’ to help them understand - and get the most from - their new energy efficient homes.
Successful completion of the new homes at Scott Hall Square was in part achieved by a strong working relationship between Keepmoat’s site manager and our appointed architects and engineers on the project. This allowed issues to be quickly and efficiently dealt with and ensured smooth delivery of the scheme.
One issue which had to be addressed was the need to upgrade the drainage and sewerage system to meet the requirements of Yorkshire Water. This was achieved in February 2012 with the installation of the main sewer under the site’s main access route.
Keepmoat was keen to work closely with Unity Housing at Scott Hall Square to achieve its objectives around tackling unemployment issues locally. Under our contract with Unity, Keepmoat was committed to a local labour clause which enabled us to secure a number of jobs for local people.
Unity has established an Employment Services Team dedicated to removing barriers to work faced by its tenants. To support Unity’s commitment to this issue we developed an employment and skills plan for Scott Hall Square. As part of this, six work experience placements were created across a range of trades.
Throughout construction, steps were taken to ensure the scheme was delivered with minimum disruption to the local community. And the needs and requirements of the client have always been at the top of our list of priorities.
Scott Hall Square achieved a Considerate Constructors score of 34 on its second inspection. Inspectors praised the scheme’s high level of compliance with the Considerate Constructors Scheme and the ‘positive image’ which it presented to the house building industry.
Close partnership working with Unity has enabled us to listen to and address any tenant issues and concerns.
All the above has ensured positive feedback from the client throughout project delivery.
With the rented homes being let out to tenants in summer 2012, and the remaining homes put up for sale, it was an opportunity for Keepmoat to reflect on a job well done at Scott Hall Square. New, affordable homes have been provided in a location where they are needed most. And in the process local people have been given the opportunity to learn new skills and increase their chances of finding work.
Key features and outcomes:
- 24-home new build project
- Houses and bungalows for rent and affordable ownership
- Employment and skills opportunities created for local people
- First new homes in deprived area in 10 years
Wayne Noteman, Unity
I have found both site and support staff to be very efficient and proactive. Definitely one of the best teams I have worked with.
Unity Housing Association, Leeds City Council
Scott Hall Square, Leeds
24 new build project
First new homes
In the deprived area in 10 years