Essex village to get super-green low-energy housing

PUBLISHED: 08:06 25 January 2010 | UPDATED: 22:07 31 May 2010

AN ULTRA-GREEN housing development which is so energy efficient it could cut a family s heating bill by up to 90 per cent is set to be built in Wimbish. The application to build 14 low-energy affordable homes on a site to the rear of the village hall in T

AN ULTRA-GREEN housing development which is so energy efficient it could cut a family's heating bill by up to 90 per cent is set to be built in Wimbish.

The application to build 14 low-energy affordable homes on a site to the rear of the village hall in Tye Green was approved by Uttlesford District Council's (UDC's) development control committee.

Chairman of Wimbish Parish Council, Michael Young, said: "There is a demand for affordable housing in the village and we are extremely pleased that we will be able to offer some of the most energy-efficient homes in the country to local people."

The houses will be built with a Passivhaus design - a low-energy construction standard which was developed in Germany and uses less than a 10th of the heating energy used by an average building.

The development is being designed and built by Hastoe and includes key Passivhaus features such as a heat-recovery ventilation system, very high insulation for walls, doors and windows, and an airtight construction.

Development manager at Hastoe, Ulrike Maccariello, said: "The parish council has identified a need for the proposed 14 dwellings for people who, through no fault of their own, are unable to buy or rent a home in their own village.

"They were looking for an innovative and sustainable solution and we believe we have achieved that with what will be the first accredited rural Passivhaus development in the country."

Cllr Christina Cant, who sits on the development control committee, said she was "delighted" with designs and that they should be used as an "exemplar" for future affordable and residential housing.

"We have been saying all along that affordable homes should be built with energy-efficient features such as solar panels," she said. "People need to be able to afford to live in these homes, not just buy or rent them, and the heating bills in the new homes will be much lower."

Hastoe hope to start work on the development in March. It will consist of six one-bedroom flats, five two-bedroom houses and three three-bedroom houses. Enquiries should be made to Wimbish Parish Council.

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