Page last updated at 18:27 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Fast-track bid for eco-home sites

Planning permission has to be sought for the sites

Thousands of new eco-friendly homes could be built in York and Leeds after civic leaders decided to fast track the two sites for development.

The decision was taken by the so-called Leeds City Region (LCR) which incorporates 11 towns and cities in West, South and North Yorkshire.

Now the former British Sugar site in York and the Hunslet Riverside site in Leeds are to be promoted.

Government funding is being sought for initial studies into the developments.

The Leeds City Region wants to develop the sites as urban eco communities.

The houses would have high levels of insulation and special heat pumps to cut fuel bills.


Both the schemes depend on planning and development permission - and there are a number of points that would have to be taken into account - such as studies into transport links to and from the York site and an A59 park and ride development .

Now the Leeds City Region group are to bid for 19m of government funding to look at improving transport links to the site.

In November, housing minister Margaret Beckett said the Leeds City Region was being withdrawn from the plans and local councils' suggestions of "urban extensions" were now being considered.

She said: "In the Leeds City Region we have agreed to pursue separately the local authorities' proposal for an urban eco-community of similar scale which would pilot eco-town standards."

Those plans included the development of brownfield sites in the Aire Valley in Leeds, along the Bradford-Shipley canal corridor, the north west of York and in North Kirklees and South Dewsbury.


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