HOUSING campaigners who want to see innovative "co housing" projects in York have taken leading councillors to see successful projects elsewhere.

The YorSpace group campaigned to get former council care home Oliver House turned into a community-run, low-cost housing site, but lost out to retirement developer McCarthy and Stone.

Now the group is actively working for another site in the city, and has shown ruling Conservative councillors what can be achieved, through a visit to a similar site in Leeds.

The 20-home Lilac site in Bramley, West Leeds, inspired the York campaign and last week council leader Cllr Chris Steward, housing boss Cllr David Carr, fellow councillors and three top city officials joined the YorSpace campaigners on a tour of the site.

Lilac's organisers say it is the UK's first ecological and affordable housing cooperative, and it has won awards for its architecture, sustainability, construction, and community involvement.

The YorSpace campaigners wanted to show councillors and council workers what could be achieved, and how the team in Leeds made it happen.

After YorSpace lost out on Oliver House, the council's ruling executive promised to keep looking for an alternative site for YorSpace's idea.

After the Lilac visit, housing executive member Cllr David Carr said: "The Lilac project in Leeds shows how a group of like-minded people can come together to build a housing scheme which is an object lesson in sustainable living, combining the best in social, environmental, and economic sustainability.

"I hope the ongoing discussions we are having with Yorspace will result in a similar great project being developed in the York area."

YorSpace's James Newton said they were pleased with the support shown by the council's visit.

"We saw it as a big signal of intent from the council that they want to explore alternative forms of housing and delivery.

"The best thing was that there were people from LILAC there who were involved in the processes with Leeds City Council. There were lots of questions asked by York's asset team and planning team, it was great they were getting advice from who have delivered a project like this is another city."