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Saxton Gardens Is A Winner

Leeds metamorphosis impresses architectural judges

Published on July 4th 2012.

Saxton Gardens Is A Winner

A LEEDS city centre development, with six and a half acres of gardens and 97 allotments has scooped two prestigious national awards for its inspiring design and sustainability. 

It is schemes such as this that breathe new life into the community and add to the housing offer

Saxton Gardens, based in the East Bank of Leeds and developed by Urban Splash, in partnership with the Homes And Communities Agency (HCA) and supported by Leeds City Council, has been held up as an exemplar of excellence by both the Housing Design Awards and the RIBA Awards, which set the standard for architecture across the country.  

The apartments, which were designed by architectural firm, Union North, boasts a mixture of 410 studio, one and two bed apartments, and is purported to have the largest private gardens of any city centre residence, including a wild flower meadow, orchard and BBQ areas, as well as an on-site gym.   

Judges of both awards praised developer Urban Splash for its regeneration of the two previously derelict council house blocks, re-using much of the existing building’s structure and creating a model of sustainable living. 

Sarah Greene, who recently purchased and moved into an apartment in Saxton said: “I’ve lived in other apartments before, but Saxton is something completely different, it has a real sense of community. 

“Being a stone’s throw from all the shops and restaurants, and yet having this huge outdoor green space, and my own allotment, plus private parking, is quite simply the good life, and I’m delighted to be living in an award-winning scheme.” 

Urban Splash has also made use of the government’s Shared Ownership scheme, giving potential purchasers a leg-up onto the property ladder. Working in partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the accredited initiative allows home buyers the chance to buy an affordable share in their home ranging from 25% to 75%, with the option to buy additional shares in the future. The Leeds scheme has 139 homes available through shared ownership. 

Simon Gawthorpe, managing director of Urban Splash Yorkshire, said: “Great design often comes at the expense of a high price tag. At Saxton, the way we’ve approached the development with our partners Union North, has meant that we’ve created an incredible living space, at an affordable price point, right in Leeds city centre. We’re delighted to receive recognition from such eminent organisations as RIBA and the Housing Design Awards and we look forward to helping new home buyers live the good life.”

Simon GawthorpeSimon Gawthorpe

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services at Leeds City Council said: “It is fantastic that this new development has been recognised nationally. It has taken two derelict council blocks of flats and converted them into an exciting city location. It is schemes such as this that breathe new life into the community and add to the housing offer available in the city centre and offer a unique living experience.” 

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