England’s first large-scale Code for Sustainable Homes level six development at Hanham Hall, near Bristol, is under construction. Work has started following completion of the formal contractual commitments and planning permissions between the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Barratt Bristol and South Gloucestershire Council.

Welcoming the start Colin Molton, regional director for the HCA in the South West, said: “This is an incredibly important development in the advancement of large-scale, zero carbon developments. Not only does it confirm the Government’s ongoing commitment to providing communities with sustainable, environmentally friendly homes, but it’s also a very real sign of long-term confidence in the housing industry in general and environmentally sustainable development in particular.”

The development will be the first created as part of the Government’s Carbon Challenge initiative, which aims to help the housebuilding industry fast track a number of developments that significantly reduce the impact on the environment, provide important lessons for delivering low carbon development and encourage people to live more sustainable lifestyles. The project has received £0.8m additional funding from the low carbon infrastructure initiative to provide an extension of the heat network from the biomass CHP plant. This will be key to using waste heat for neighbouring community buildings.

Mixed use
Hanham Hall is a former hospital and features a grade II* Listed building. Plans for the site include 178 homes that will conform to the highest level of the Code and a range of shops and offices that will offer employment opportunities for the community. The homes will use energy and water efficiently, as well as minimising waste and carbon emissions.

Allotment gardens and greenhouses will be provided to encourage residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables and a farm shop will offer a range of locally sourced products. Existing hedgerows, meadows and orchards will be retained and extended, and some of the heritage buildings will be adapted for community use including a nursery and a café for residents and visitors.

Barratt Bristol will be responsible for the preservation and restoration of the listed hospital building and for the conservation of green spaces that surround it. Additionally, a Residents’ Trust will be established to oversee the ongoing maintenance and care of the whole site.

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