Housing and Planning Minister Yvette Cooper today announced details of the housebuilder who will build England's first eco-village.
Barratt Developments PLC has been selected by English Partnerships, the Government's National Regeneration Agency, as the preferred developer to create a new community at the site of the former Hanham Hall Hospital near Bristol. Homes on the site will meet the Government's most exacting eco standard - Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Hanham Hall was the first site identified under the Carbon Challenge, being run by English Partnerships as part of the Government's commitment to tackle climate change. The Challenge will deliver zero carbon homes and communities well in advance of this becoming mandatory 2016, and help the housebuilding sector demonstrate that the targets are feasible and can be commercially viable.
As well as zero-carbon homes this ground-breaking project will create eco lifestyles. It will hand over a listed building to community use, capture rainwater and include sustainable drainage, farmers' shops, a car club and bicycle storage.
Yvette Cooper said: "We have set a world-beating target that all new homes must be zero carbon by 2016. People said this couldn't be done, but, in fact, this first Carbon Challenge site shows that developers are already preparing to build the first major development of zero carbon homes.
"We want to build more homes but also to higher standards. We've set up plans for ten eco-towns. These Carbon Challenge eco-villages are now leading the way, showing what can be done. This marks a revolution in the way we design and build homes."
Steve Carr, English Partnerships' Director of Policy and Economics, said: "The winning bid isn't just environmentally sound - it brings people into the equation to create a truly sustainable community.
"We are meeting a dual goal - tackling climate change whilst improving housing quality. I am delighted that so many developers rose to the challenge. The winning bid by Barratt tipped the balance because they thought about eco-living not just eco-buildings."
Mark Clare, Chief Executive, Barratt Developments PLC said: "Barratt fully supports the zero carbon objective and we want to make as big a contribution as we can as quickly as we can. We are delighted to be asked to deliver this ground-breaking project, which will be the first large-scale zero carbon community in the country. It will enable a family occupying one of these homes to reduce their entire carbon footprint by 60 per cent."
Hanham Hall is a 6.6 hectare former hospital site near Bristol, incorporating a Grade II listed building. It is anticipated that the site will support up to 200 homes, of which at least a third will be affordable, as well as retail floor space and employment space. The onsite biomass CHP plant will deliver energy to all homes. The minister also unveiled the six shortlisted bidders for the second Carbon Challenge site - South Bank Phase 1, in Peterborough; and two new sites in the North of England. The shortlisted developers for South Bank Phase 1 are:
- One Peterborough (a consortium of Crest Nicholson and Bioregional)
- Gladedale Group
- Carbon Challenge Consortium (Galliford Try and Cross Key Homes)
- Barratt Homes Ltd
- P Pod (Morris Homes and Gentoo)
- Gleeson Homes and Stuart Milne Group.
The shortlisted developers will now be invited to submit a more detailed response to achieve Level 6 of the Code, by achieving zero carbon, incorporating features to reduce water usage and energy consumption, minimising waste, and increasing biodiversity. A decision on the final preferred developer at South Bank Phase 1 is expected early next year.
The two new Carbon Challenge sites announced today are both in former coalfield communities, devastated by pit closures in the 1980s - Brodsworth Colliery in Doncaster and Bickershaw Colliery in Wigan. Expressions of interest in both sites will be invited via OJEU in January.