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UK's largest eco-village gets go ahead

HTA Architects has received planning permission to build 195 zero carbon homes as part of the Hanham Hall development in South Gloucestershire

The development, which is being backed by Barratt Developments and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), will be the UK’s first to be built to Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The 195 home-scheme will be constructed using energy efficient materials with some materials recycled from buildings on the existing site.

The Hanham Hall ‘eco village’ occupies a 6.6 hectare, former hospital site near Bristol. The Grade-II listed former hospital building, Hanham Hall itself, will be renovated and refurbished, transforming it into a community centre.

Robert Napier, chairman of the HCA said: ‘As one of [our] flagship schemes, this is about testing the highest level of the Code for Sustainable Homes and looking at innovative ways to achieve true sustainability.  This will be the first large scale development in the country to be built to this high standard, demonstrating that while Level 6 is a challenge, it is one we must achieve if we are to prevent the impact of climate change and dwindling natural resources.’

In addition to crèche, café and car club centre it will include a ‘sustainable living hut’, which hopes to encourage the neighbourhood to engage with ecological issues. The architects aim to integrate the houses into the landscape, creating a harmonious relationship between the residents and nature.

In a further effort to promote the eco-lifestyle, the homes will be powered by the on site biomass CHP plant. Reed beds, allotments, farmer’s shops, bicycle storage and sustainable drainage will contribute to the zero carbon lifestyle of the community.

The development is part of the government’s Carbon Challenge Programme which aims for all new builds to be zero carbon by 2016. The Hanham Hall development will be the first built project as part of the scheme, construction due to begin on site at the end of this year with the first homes completed by 2010.



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