We had a good meeting at Interplay Theatre in Armley – talking with local people about how they could get involved in our plans to create People Powered Homes on Mistress Lane, near the centre of Armley, writes Rob Greenland.
There was a lot of really good discussion about what people would like to see happen on the site.
It was a small group – there were ten of us there – so we’re not pretending that what was discussed is necessarily reflective of the interests of the wider community.
Nonetheless it was very interesting how keen people were to explore possibilities for some form of co-operative housing on the site. Several people there last night have visited Lilac Low Impact Living Affordable Community in Bramley and were very impressed by that.
People also talked about the importance of good quality green space, and there was enthusiasm for the idea of common green space, rather than everyone having small private gardens.
There was good discussion too about how much space we’d need to give to car parking – particularly reflecting relatively low levels of car ownership in the area, and the proximity of Armley to the city centre, bus routes and the Cityconnect cycle route.
This was all really useful feedback on what were very much early stage plans. It has given us plenty of food for thought as we think through what could be possible on what is in many ways quite a challenging site.
It was also great to see more people sign up as members of Leeds Community Homes – membership of our Community Land Trust is available when you pay for a £1 share. There was lovely symbolism of people throwing their £1s onto the table – as you can see in the photo below.
We left enthused and hopeful. We are also very clear that we need to get more people involved. It was a relatively small group last night – there were ten of us there – and to build an ambitious, innovative community-led development, which isn’t just housing-as-usual, we’ll need to do much more to encourage more people to join us on the journey.
If you like the sound of what we’re doing, please talk to us. You can also join the Group on here that’s focused on Armley – where you’ll find out about other events over the coming weeks and months.
We’re still a long way from making this idea – and we think it’s a great idea – happen. But last night was another step forward. Please join us – and spread the word – if you’d like to be part of making this work!
Rob Greenland is a director of Leeds Community Homes, which is looking to create affordable housing across the city.