Finance

£15m eco-friendly council houses get go-ahead


A £15 million eco-friendly council housing project has got the go-ahead.

Mansfield District Council is set to build 77 affordable homes on land off Centenary Road, in the town.

The 77 homes include 48 for older people – forming the final part of the Poppy Fields development – and 29 family and general needs houses and apartments in a connected scheme.

The construction costs are expected to be £14.8 million.

Permission for the plans has been granted by the council’s own planning committee.

All the homes will be offered for affordable rents and will be owned and managed by Mansfield District Council. Work is expected to start this winter.

The council’s in-house architects are designing the new homes to meet government carbon reduction targets and the Future Homes Standard, expected to be adopted nationally by 2025.

The standard requires new homes to be fitted with low carbon heating and high energy efficiency with an average semi-detached home producing 75 per cent to 80 per cent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than one built to current building regulations.

Communities and housing spokeswoman Coun Marion Bradshaw said: “This is a flagship scheme for the council’s social housing strategy.

“Among the themes of this strategy and other council priorities are targets to develop a better and wider mix of housing across the district.

“This scheme, in particular, will help to address a district-wide shortage of two-bedroom bungalows.

“All the homes will be built to a higher specification than is currently required, to be in line with expected new housing standards, and make them flexible living spaces that can adapt to tenants’ changing needs over their lifetime.

“This strategy to future-proof this housing means they are a bit more costly to build than the average new-build.

“But as a responsible council, we want to do what we can to address climate change and give our tenants – many of whom in this particular housing scheme will be elderly and on fixed incomes – the opportunity to live in buildings which won’t cost the earth to heat.

“They will not only offer an excellent quality of the life for the tenants who will live in them, the council’s new procurement policy means the scheme will also provide work and supply chain opportunities for local people and businesses.”

The development is the third and final phase of a major council project to clear an area known for poor quality, low demand and empty housing and anti-social behaviour, and replace it with 161 high quality council homes to rent for older people.

The first and second phases for 64 extra care homes and a further 20 properties for older people were completed in 2016.

The final phase comprises 48 apartments and bungalows for older people with:

• 6 one bedroom apartments

• 26 two-bedroom apartments

• 16 two-bedroom bungalows.

All the housing for older people will be designed with wheelchair users in mind and the family housing will be built to the Lifetime Homes Standard.

They will include features such as larger car parking spaces to allow disabled access, a large downstairs toilet which can be adapted to a wet room, larger halls and wider doors to allow wheelchair access and a main bedroom which has the potential for a hoist to be fitted to allow hoist access to the bathroom.

The 29 family and general needs homes will have separate access roads off Broomhill Lane and will be made up of:

• 14 two-bedroom houses

• 10 three-bedroom houses

• 1 four-bedroom house

• 1 one-bedroom apartment

• 3 two-bedroom apartments.

The layout of the development will prevent car rat-runs and hopefully create a low-traffic environment.

The council is also progressing with work on the Bellamy Road Community Heart Housing Development which includes demolishing existing shops and 11 flats in Egmanton Road.

In their place will be 22 new family homes built round a “village green” with a play area, learn to ride cycle track, plus a new single storey parade of retail outlets with a convenience store, cafe and takeaway.

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