Allerton Bywater Millennium Community

Allerton Bywater Millennium Community was announced by John Prescott in 1998 as one of a series of new developments which aimed to showcase innovative new approaches to building sustainable communities. Lying six miles south-east of Leeds, the Millennium Community occupies the former site of Allerton Colliery, at the centre of the village of Allerton Bywater.

The site was transferred to English Partnerships in 1995 and upfront public investment of £24 million enabled land remediation, decontamination and flood alleviation works. The eventual design included high environmental standards, a HomeZone where pedestrians and motor vehicles were given equal priority on kerb-free streets, and a Design for Manufacture competition in which homes were built for a construction cost of no more than £60,000.

Rather than focusing solely on the site itself, the aim was to benefit the village as a whole, under the more comprehensive banner of Allerton Bywater Millennium Village, successfully helping it to shake off the post-industrial legacy. In particular, a £500,000 fund was made available to provide capital funding for local projects, managed by the Community Initiative Subgroup of the parish council. Funds have also been provided for the refurbishment of buildings used as community venues, giving a positive boost to the area.

Walking and cycling links are good, both within the site and to nearby destinations, including a Sustrans cycle path following a former railway line. There is easy access to shops and facilities within the rest of the village. Bus services are adequate but have seen no real improvement from the development. There is disappointment locally that some of the early promises, such as to run buses through the site itself, have not been kept. However, the Millennium Village has still provided some welcome improvements for the local community and had a positive impact on the village, while keeping the new homes more affordable than in most of the sites we have visited.

Click here to download the Allerton Bywater profile.