A regenerative development to repair the Greenbelt
Project: Esholt: Positive Living
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Client: Yorkshire Water & Keyland Developments
Project Team: BWB Consulting, SLR Consulting, Brooks Ecological, Fore Consulting, JPG Consulting, Adams Hebermehl, Graeme Ives Heritage, Buro Happold, Wardell Armstrong, 3Adapt, Barton Wilmore, KPP, RLB, AVR London
Timescale: Planning consented September 2021
Size: 100,000 m²

We have been working closely with Keyland Developments, Yorkshire Water, 3ADAPT, Barton Wilmore and the wider team to develop the Esholt Positive Living scheme in Esholt, Yorkshire. The scheme will create a ground-breaking sustainable residential and commercial development in place of the existing disused water treatment tanks on the site.

The Esholt Waste Water Treatment Works site sits close to both Leeds and Bradford and as a result of advances in technology, the operational footprint of the site has reduced significantly over recent years, leaving large areas of formerly operational land redundant and unused.

The innovative employment element of the masterplan outlines the creation of 100,000m² of quality, sustainable work spaces to accommodate a mix of industry, with a particular focus on bio-tech businesses and other industries that can make the most of heat, power and water generated by the treatment works to maximise sustainability.


The housing part of the masterplan has been led by the drive to create an exemplar residential development which will be one of the most sustainable in the UK. The masterplan outlines 150 homes, from 1-bedroom maisonettes to 5 bedroom detached houses to allow for a diverse community. The residential development will act as a catalyst for the wider scheme, demonstrating that by linking and integrating with the Yorkshire Water treatment works, and their surrounding fantastic landscape, we can create a positive development with amazing wellbeing benefits.

All of the housing will be low energy construction, with more ‘formal’ yorkstone clad houses and apartments on the north of the development and less ‘formal’ timber and stone clad houses integrated into the southern woodland. We have carefully orientated all the houses to maximise opportunities for passive solar gain in winter months as well as solar panels, all facing onto communal green landscaped areas.

When complete, this scheme will provide spaces for people to live, work and play, as well as a nationally recognised development for reaching high sustainability targets. It will repurpose the largely brownfield site to deliver a series of economic, social and environmental benefits through homes, open space and employment.

It’s great to be working with Tate + Co on the Esholt, Positive Living Project. They have been crucial to creating a clear vision for this ground-breaking residential and commercial development. Their outstanding narrative and brilliant images have really helped the scheme come to life.”

Luke Axe, Strategic Land & Planning Manager, Keyland Developments

Working with 3ADAPT we consulted widely throughout the local community to ensure that the development will create a positive legacy for the area that truly meets people’s needs. This transformed the planning process into a positive engagement process, in line with Keyland and Yorkshire Water’s overarching concern to benefit the community in Esholt and of Yorkshire more broadly.