14th July 2020

Work starts on Leeds’s latest development for recovering addicts

Work is now underway on Leeds’s second new development that has been specifically designed to give people recovering from addictions, who are most in need of housing, a safe and affordable place to live as they prepare to move towards living independently.

This latest project will see 24, one and two bedroom, apartments built on Hedley Chase in New Wortley, on the site of the Old Liberal Club, which was demolished more than 10 years ago.

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The scheme will beowned and operated by longstanding Leeds charity, St George’s Crypt, and has been designed by Brewster Bye Architects. It is being developed in partnership with Leeds City Council, which is providing low cost loan facilities as well as financing 30% of the capital costs through its Right to Buy Replacement Programme. Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire is the principal contractor and work is due to complete in February 2021.

Last September work completed on St George’s Crypt’s first development at Regent Lodge in Hyde Park near Headingley. The scheme, which was a first for Leeds, is now home to 14 residents with alcohol dependency issues who all live in self-contained studio apartments. Last month, it was named Yorkshire’s best residential development at the inaugural Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) Social Impact Awards.

Nathan Wilkinson, a director at Brewster Bye Architects, said: “Developing and financing these types of very special developments certainly has its challenges. However, the expertise and persistence within St George’s Crypt, supported by a team of very experienced property professionals, has continually found a way through, and to see work underway on our second development is fantastic news for everyone involved with St George's Crypt.

“Having somewhere to call home is crucial in enabling people to make positive changes in their lives and there’s no doubt these developments can genuinely help significant numbers of people get back on their feet and start rebuilding their lives as they overcome addictions.”

Martin Patterson, from St George’s Crypt, said: “We embarked on these developments to mark a decisive change in how homes are created for people in housing need in Leeds, as well as offering an alternative to what is currently available in the private rented sector.

“Regent Lodge is already proving to be a major success and we’re now looking forward to replicating this at Hedley Chase. The development will offer residents affordable homes, the chance of support through St George’s Crypt and onsite facilities to help them back into work wherever possible, which has the potential to be genuinely life-changing for recovering addicts.”

St George’s Crypt is based in Great George Street, underneath the thriving church of St George’s in Leeds and has been at the frontline of support for homeless, disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Leeds and its surrounding areas since 1930.