Since the launch of its Carbon Challenge, English Partnerships has been seeking to identify potential brownfield sites which could be redeveloped to meet the Government’s most rigorous targets under the new Code for Sustainable Homes.

The idea is to invite private developers to build economically viable homes on land owned by the partnership to show that Government’s stipulation that all new build must be carbon neutral by 2016 is an achievable target rather than wishful thinking.

Bristol’s Hanham Hall, a six hectare site including an existing Grade II listed building, will be used to house 150 homes and English Partnership has now invited companies to submit proposals under its pre-qualifying questionnaire, the first stage of the process which will eventually appoint a developer.

“This effectively brings the zero carbon homes of the future a significant step closer to reality – a hugely important development in the fight against climate change,” said Jayne Lomas, project manager for the Carbon Challenge.

“The Government has made it clear that all new homes will need to be zero carbon from 2016 and the Carbon Challenge will help demonstrate to the construction industry how this can be achieved. And we need to start now – 2016 is less than a decade away – and nobody should underestimate the challenge of achieving zero carbon.”

Philip Wolfe, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association said: “We expect a substantial contribution for our 20% renewables target for 2020 to come from energy in buildings and we welcome the Carbon Challenge as an important driver for sustainability.

“English Partnerships are showing real leadership in aiming straight for Level six of the new Code for Sustainable Homes.”

Proposals will be expected to address the total carbon emissions of the development as well as looking at water usage, waste reduction, improving biodiversity and air quality.

A second, even bigger, site is in the pipeline near Peterborough.

Sam Bond

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