Leeds council has selected developer Bellway as its preferred partner to revamp a string of sprawling council estates across the city and build 5000 homes.

The West Yorkshire authority announced last week that it is entering the final lap of negotiations with Bellway on the £1.3bn EASEL PPP scheme.

The project includes the regeneration of the Gipton estate, which has been identified by the government in the first wave of pilots for its showpiece mixed communities initiative. Under the first phase of the EASEL project, 16 ha of land in Gipton are being cleared for new housing.

The entire project, which covers five wards across east and south-east Leeds, aims to deliver more than 5000 new-build dwellings over the next 15 to 20 years.

EASEL aims to use the injection of private housing to transform the social mix of the 1700 ha area, which contains 11,000 council homes, up to one-fifth of which are vacant on some estates.

Showpiece: 16 ha of land in Gipton are being cleared for pilot project
Showpiece: 16 ha of land in Gipton are being cleared for pilot project

The project will also help Leeds to secure its target of bringing its council housing stock up to scratch by the end of the decade by enabling the demolition of the properties in the worst condition and those that are surplus to requirements. The 5000-plus homes will be built on a mix of cleared sites and vacant land.

The eyes of the whole country are now on this scheme

Andrew Carter, Leeds council

Andrew Carter, council leader, said: "This is a unique opportunity to totally transform a large area of our city. The eyes of the whole country are now on this scheme, so it is vital that we get this right."

John Watson, Bellway chief executive, said: "Our proposals identified the city's role as a major regional centre; the scheme will revitalise the area and provide housing choice."

Bellway announced a 1% increase in the number of units sold over the past six months in its latest trading statement.

In another of the mixed communities pilots, Newham council in east London is to select the developer to take forward the first phase of the Canning Town project later this month. The authority is selecting from a shortlist of three preferred developers: Lend Lease, Countryside Properties and the East Central consortium.

  • The Elevate East Lancashire housing market renewal pathfinder has selected Gleeson and Keepmoat as preferred partners to regenerate some of the country's worst pockets of low demand. Gleeson will be lead developer for the Daneshouse, Duke Bar and Stoneyholme areas of Burnley, and Keepmoat will focus on south-west Burnley. The two companies will share the regeneration of Burnley Wood, which neighbours the town centre. The two companies were selected from a shortlist of 20 developers.