First Carbon Challenge scheme hits planning system

Developers have put forward plans for what would become one of the UK's largest zero-carbon developments to date.

The houses are set to use a range of sustainable features to reach level six of the code

The houses are set to use a range of sustainable features to reach level six of the code

Barratt Homes has submitted an application to build nearly 200 homes in Hanham, South Gloucestershire, which will meet level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The development, near Bristol, would include the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Hanham Hall, which is currently being used as a nursing home.

If the scheme is given the green light by council planners, the "Hanham Hall Eco Village", as it is known, will become the first of Government's Carbon Challenge developments.

Under the proposals, all 195 homes in the scheme will have to generate zero net emissions of CO2, and spare carbon credits will be used to ensure Hanham Hall itself is also carbon neutral.

Barratt plans to use a biomass combined heat and power system to provide energy, and the houses have been designed to minimise energy needs, through innovations such as highly efficient insulation.

Future homeowners will also be educated on how to use energy wisely.

The Carbon Challenge scheme is being administered for Government by the national regeneration organisation, the Homes and Communities Agency.

Commenting on the submission of the planning application, Colin Molton, regional director for South West England at the agency, said the agency was "delighted" with Barratt's ideas.

"The former hospital and grounds provide an extremely attractive setting that sees the new development knitted into the existing Hanham community," he said.

"We are confident that this development will quickly become a highly desirable place to live."

The site will also have to use rainwater harvesting to cap mains water usage at a level of just 80 litres per person per day, as required by level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Normal water usage in the UK is between 140 and 160 litres per person per day.

However, several local people have already raised objections to the plans since they were announced in the local press on January 7.

The council is expected to make a decision on the application in March.

Kate Martin


| zero-carbon


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