pPod, made up of Morris Homes, Gentoo Homes and Browne Smith Baker architects, has been selected as the preferred developer for the first phase of the 344-home development.

The project is expected to be zero-carbon – meeting the highest level of Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes – and all the commercial units will be built to BREEAM Excellent standard.

The development is part of national regeneration agency English Partnerships’ Carbon Challenge scheme, which aims to speed up the housing industry’s response to climate change by fast-tracking zero-carbon developments.

Energy for the development, in the city’s South Bank area, will be provided by a biomass combined heat and power plant, and rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling facilities will be installed to reduce water use.

The plans also include sustainable urban drainage systems such as wetlands, and a “green spine” with orchards, allotments and canopy walkways.

Steve Carr, director of policy at English Partnerships and head of the Carbon Challenge initiative, said: “This isn’t just about eco-living – it is about making new housing schemes a much better deal for owners and tenants by creating comfortable and cost-efficient homes for a range of incomes.”

Councillor John Peach, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “The exciting Carbon Challenge scheme will enhance Peterborough’s reputation as a UK leader in high quality sustainable development and it will stimulate progress in our vision for the much larger South Bank area.

“Council officers are identifying new and sustainable ways of providing sustainable, essential services for residents when it is built.”

The development is part of a larger ambition announced by council chiefs at the beginning of the year to make Peterborough the UK’s Environment Capital.

pPod is expected to make a planning application for the South Bank site early next year and start work on site later in 2009.

Kate Martin

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