The Council Housing Growth Team have shared an update regarding the proposed Housing Leeds development which will include the spire, and thus protect it for future generations - covering the cost of maintaining it.
The Council are continuing to progress the St Mary’s scheme and a review is underway to help overcome the sites complexities and funding challenges to deliver the plan. Several meetings are being scheduled, further site investigations commissioned and specialist conservation consultation and advice is being undertaken.
The Council Housing Growth Team are continuing to work with the Church of England and Diocese to discuss findings from initial site investigations, including next steps regarding any potential burials which may remain on site.
The team are also due to meet with Diocese and the Councils contractor shortly to progress further archaeological site surveys. These will be scheduled in line with the Government’s Health & Safety guidance regarding COVID-19 and will be overseen by Archaeological Advisors, whilst also ensuring compliance with the Diocese’s requirements.
The Church of England will still need to conduct a formal public consultation process on the proposed use of the Spire and site before transfer of ownership can proceed and this is being explored further too. Without this, they can not transfer ownership - assuming a viable scheme can proceed.
Discussions with Leeds City Councils Children & Families Service are also being scheduled to understand the detailed requirements for the Sure Start on site and to explore options for re-accommodating the Sure Start facility if development is given the go-ahead.
In line with the above, the team have been progressing funding discussions and a review of the viability model has recently been conducted. This is helping form a strategy to move the scheme forward and will enable design development to recommence.