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News - September/October 2019

UK’s first car-free school planned for Leeds

Britain’s first car-free school could be built in Leeds if a multi-generational building that includes a care home for older people as well as the 420-place primary school gets planning permission.

The school will have no parking spaces for staff or visitors and will discourage drop-offs.

If approved by planners this autumn, the school will serve the climate innovation district, a new zero-carbon neighbourhood already under development by the River Aire near the Royal Armouries Museum, which aims to promote “positive behaviours linked to transport, energy, housing and ecosystems”.

The developer, Citu, has also been working with designers from Civic Engineers to reduce the flood risk, with surface water managed at source through a combination of tree planting, permeable paving, rain gardens and ponds.

Citu says it wants to help return Leeds to a public transport paradise that puts people before cars. Council planners initially tried to push for parking at the school, but Citu refused.

A spokesman said: “We want to change things and bring in walking and cycling routes to connect the school with housing and the river path, which will take residents all the way to Leeds central station in 20 minutes on foot, all without crossing a single road.”

The school will share a four-storey building with a 70-room care home as well as a number of one- and two-bed flats. Pupils and residents will use a communal courtyard, which will be available for local residents as a public realm during the holidays and evenings.