By John Baron
Work on a new eco-friendly heating system for two Armley high-rise blocks will start this month and cost more than £2 million, according to council documents released this week.
The report confirms that Cenergist has been awarded a £2,029,673 contract to revamp the heating in Burnsall Court and Gardens with new low-carbon heating and hot water systems which are better for the environment and cheaper for tenants to run.
It says the new measures will replace the ineffective electric storage heaters currently used by residents: “The works to install ground source heat pumps is planned to reduce resident’s fuel costs, improve their ability to control heating, and reduce carbon emissions.”
Work was due to start five months ago but had been delayed due to legal issues. The report confirms a start date of ‘September’.
Leeds City Council successfully bid for £7,402,651 of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding to support the works but, according to conditions of the funding, work must be completed by 31 March 2023.
The report says the main bore-field for two of the four Burnsall blocks is within the boundary of Armley Moor, which is maintained by the Armley Common Trust and subject to Charity Commission rules.
It added: “With this in mind it has been decided to split the four Burnsall blocks into two separate clusters, proceeding first with the first two blocks which can be drilled on wholly owned Leeds City Council land.”
Volunteers from the Armley Common Right Trust, which maintains Armley Moor on behalf of the people of Armley, are also putting together a wish list of improvements as ‘community payback’ for work on the new heat pumps taking place on the moor.
Following last month’s public meeting, the contractors and Leeds City Council have offered the Trust £20,000. People have been having their say on how they would like the money to be spent here.
The Trust protects six pieces of land in Armley, including Hill Top, Charlie Cake Park, Moor Top (at the junction of Town Street and Wortley Road), Armley Moor, Far Fold (over Theaker Lane from the Moor) and Ley Lane (beyond Mistress Lane).
The Trust’s Facebook page can be found here.
Ground source heat pumps have also been installed at West Leeds high rise blocks including – Heights West and Heights East in Wortley, and Westerly Croft and Westerly Rise in Armley. Rycroft Green, Rycroft Towers, Rycroft Court and Rycroft Place in Swinnow have also had the system installed, along with Queenswood Heights and Queenswood Court in Kirkstall. The Poplars in Armley have also had them installed.
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Considering the increase in Electric and Gas bills would this scheme currently fall under the Price Cap agreement? There are many other community heating schemes that don’t qualify for price caps.