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AHMM housing for Kevin McCloud’s HAB finally breaks ground


Construction work has finally started on a £26 million Bristol housing scheme by AHMM, backed by TV presenter Kevin McCloud’s development company HAB Housing

The 161-home project in Southmead, to the north of the city, was launched by McCloud and Bristol mayor Marvin Rees at an event last Friday (9 November) but was supposed to be ready for occupation by the end of 2018.

But the complex scheme, which will sit on Bristol City Council-owned land that was formerly the site of Dunmail Primary School, has been pushed back for a completion in 2019.

The 11,965m² development, Elderberry Walk, will feature a range of homes from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses. It has been designed around a central 20m-wide ‘green street’ linking the homes to the neighbouring park.

The project brings together a housing association, a community investment company and private-sector capital to provide much needed high-quality affordable homes to rent and buy.

It will feature 30 per cent affordable housing and an additional 25 per cent of ‘ethical private rent’ homes with longer leases and capped rents. These will be delivered by ‘socially focused investor’ Bristol and Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) and the Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund.

Jayne Whittlestone, communities manager at United Communities, said the project’s delays were down to the ‘immensely complex’ nature of the scheme.

‘We needed to get all our ducks in a row as we had seven or eight different partners and lots of different funding to get right,’ she said, adding: ‘That gave us more time to work with the community.’

Neighbouring schools and the wider community were all involved in coming up with ideas for the site’s design. 

McCloud, who presents Channel 4’s Grand Designs programme, said: ‘As our first project in HAB’s home city of Bristol, we are more eager than ever to bring this great, sustainable, and affordable project to life and support the community.

‘We are so pleased to meet with the young people and inspire a new generation into housing and construction as well as deliver much-needed housing and help in the wider regeneration of this neighbourhood.’

The design team includes engineer Arup and landscape architectss Clifton Emery Design and Churchman Landscape Architects.

The first homes are scheduled to be ready for occupation in 2019 with the scheme’s final completion expected in 2020.

AHMM's approved proposals for the 161-home Elderberry Walk scheme in Bristol for HAB Housing - August 2017

AHMM’s approved proposals for the 161-home Elderberry Walk scheme in Bristol for HAB Housing - August 2017

AHMM’s approved proposals for the 161-home Elderberry Walk scheme in Bristol for HAB Housing - August 2017


Readers' comments (5)

  • Looks great guys! And sensible too? No ground breaking “look at me” materials and aesthetics. A nice place to live, and get on with life. And all without the help of Prince Charles or Roger Scruton! Could this set a pattern for the 2020s? 250,000/year?

    Homes fit for post Brexit heroes?!

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  • Shocking! Shocking! Shocking! None of the buildings have flat roofs; neither, does it appear, are they built using CLT panels.
    This trend has to stop!

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  • Would be interesting to see what are the car parking and servicing arrangements, I hope they look equally as attractive (in their own right), as do these visualisations of the car free elements.
    Would appreciate a plan of the whole if that's possible? In my opinion these are always the challenges of mass housing design. It would be interesting to see how the architects and landscape architects approached this?

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  • Plans please and a full Building for Life 12 assessment would be nice too!

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  • Car parking and servicing provision do appear to be remarkably low-key for a location that's far removed from the city centre, approached through a vast area of stultifyingly unmemorable housing with public transport links limited to slow and lengthy bus routes, reflective of the relative failure of the Bristol city region over many decades to get its transport planning act together, compared with many other similarly sized places in Britain.

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