Stonewater brings 30 affordable homes to Leeds

The Grade II listed former Cookridge Hospital building will be converted into 30 affordable homes as Stonewater embark on construction at Oak Park Lane on Friday afternoon (15 March). The development is being delivered in partnership with Strategic Team Group and Leeds City Council with funding from Homes England and the Recycled Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

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The historic hospital first opened its doors in the 1860s and is probably most famous for its work treating wounded servicemen during the two World Wars. Since then, the hospital has served various roles such as a regional radiotherapy centre and Leed’s maternity hospital. It became part of the NHS in 1952 and the hospital finally closed its doors in 2008.

Stonewater plans to maintain the exterior of the original building to preserve its heritage and renovate the interior to create 30 much-needed new affordable homes.

The leading affordable home provider’s project will deliver 16 homes for affordable rent and 14 homes for shared ownership. The part-rent, part-buy scheme that gives tenants a realistic chance to get on the property ladder in an affordable way. The properties are being constructed by Castleford-based homebuilder Strategic Team Group.

On the site, there will be a mixture of homes to meet the varied needs of local homeseekers, including families. Among the 30 affordable homes for rent and shared ownership, the properties available for affordable rent are five one-bedroom apartments, five two-bedroom apartments, five two-bedroom houses and one four-bedroom house. 14 two-bedroom houses will be available for shared ownership.

All houses will feature beautiful private gardens with an allocated parking space and there also will be a communal garden for all new residents to enjoy. For energy conscious homebuyers the new homes will also provide electrical charging points for eco-friendly cars to help contribute to the green credentials of the community. The development also has a large open public space in the front of the building.

The construction of the affordable homes will also provide opportunities for employment and skills training as Strategic Team Group is providing no less than five apprenticeships on site and through their supply chain.

Homes England and the Recycled Capital Grant Fund provided funding towards this development of £1,232,000 and £404,000 respectively. Leeds City Council is also a delivery partner to this scheme as well as Strategic Team Group.

Stonewater’s regional development manager (North), Martin Fox, said: “We are thrilled to be able to convert the former hospital site into new homes for affordable rent and shared ownership in the Leeds area. Leeds is a lovely place to live but for many people there just isn’t enough housing available that they can afford. Stonewater has been working hard to tackle the housing crisis and affordability issues and we are excited to bring low-cost homes and shared-ownership to a site full of history.”

Andy Coates, Construction Director of STG commented: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Stonewater Group for the first time to support their development programme. The redevelopment of this prestigious and historical building, together with new build homes is a very exciting opportunity and is another step forward in our ambition of building more than 750 mixed tenure homes a year.”

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for communities said: “I am delighted to welcome Stonewater and its new homes to Leeds. Cookridge Hospital closed over a decade ago and I am really pleased to see the site will continue to provide housing for the local community. The Council has committed to addressing the shortage of affordable housing in the city and I’m really pleased that this will provide those opportunities for residents to rent or buy a property in the area.”