Demolition of West Leeds high-rise blocks approved

Raynville Grange in Armley is likely to be demolished. Picture from Google Maps

By David Spereall, local democracy reporter

The demolition of six ageing high-rise blocks across Leeds has been approved by senior city councillors.

Bailey Towers, Brooklands Towers and Ramshead Heights in Seacroft will all be mothballed once all residents living there are rehoused by the council.

Leafield Towers in Moortown and Raynville Court and Raynville Grange in Armley/Bramley will also be torn down, with the work likely to take place in early 2026.

All six blocks, which accommodate 360 residents between them, were built in the 1960s. While still safe to live in, the council says they’ve reached the end of their useful life and it is cheaper to demolish them and build new homes on the sites than to refurbish them.

The move was agreed despite calls from opposition leaders to delay the decision.

Councillor Jess Lennox, executive member for housing, told a meeting of the council’s executive board on Wednesday that “doing nothing was not an option”.

Explaining why revamping the current buildings was ruled out, she said: “These residents would need to be removed from the flats completely for the period of time that refurbishment work was done, because the work would involve completely stripping out the flats.

“We can’t leave residents in these flats, which have reached the end of their life.”

The leader of the Leeds’ Liberal Democrat group, Stewart Golton, had called for approval of the demolition to be delayed, claiming it would heap pressure on the council housing system, with demand already at an “all-time high”.

And at Wednesday’s meeting, Conservative leader Alan Lamb also raised concerns about the potential impact of inflation on the costs of the work and questioned whether the demolition could be done more gradually.

He said: “I think we’re making a decision prematurely. Not knowing the financial circumstances and the length of time we’ve got, I think there’s more work to be done this.

“This could be something that ends up costing us a lot more than we’re anticipating.”

But Councillor Lennox said the local authority “couldn’t indefinitely defer a decision”.

The meeting was told that residents broadly backed the demolition, though Councillor Lamb asked for more evidence around how they were consulted.

Coun Lennox said: “They (the flats) are currently safe. It’s not an emergency situation like the government’s school crisis situation, but we’re taking a pro-active decision, to make sure we have the time and capacity to provide the people currently living in these blocks with the houses they need.”


    • Thanks for your comment Ess. The first paragraph clearly acknowledges that the other flats are indeed ‘across the city’. The West Leeds reference obviously refers to the ones on the Raynvilles.

  1. ..Saxton Gardens ….”Forgotten Estate” as per Leeds Live/Daily Mirror – maybe LCC Executives “forgotten'” 300 council flats are taking up a lot of space on land worth ££££millions -they’re saving best till last.

  2. in my oppion it is silly. why can’t council find a bloody plot of land, build there for the next 4 or 5 years and only then , when they finish building, move us out when they have new alternative accomodation ready. I want extra compensatiins of 30.000 pounds for the nuisance of being 7 years away and sheer stupidity of council. this is stupid . council doesn’t have available land to built? there are plenty of unused areas. ps it took more then a year to fix a few roads at leeds train station and they blocked the traffic beyond acceyabme… then they tarmac roads that don’t need to be tarmaced. I don’t trust the council. they are silly and incapable of reasonable management of money spent. who wants to join and get compensations from a bleeding system


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