Zero carbon housing scheme for Brentwood

Brentwood Borough Council plans to build 61 zero carbon homes at Brookfield Close as part of an ambitious programme to develop 185 new homes on council owned land.

Among the innovations being utilised are ground source heat pumps for heating, siting the houses to maximise solar energy, and capturing heat from waste water to revert into energy again.

The designs for the homes will centre around improving air quality to help support residents’ health particularly those with asthma.

Environment, Enforcement and Housing Committee Chair, Cllr Maria Pearson, said; “Everyone should have their own safe corner to call home. We know that affordable and environmental homes in Brentwood are vital to our residents and the borough’s future. This is a cutting-edge scheme that will lead by example for the type of housing that Brentwood needs and expects.

“It is the first time in the last 50 years, that new council homes are being built on this scale and at this pace. It is incredible to see the images of what these homes will look like, and fascinating to see the environmental and economic efficiency that is possible today with such schemes.

“A ‘home’ is more than the four walls of the house. The area we live in, stability of tenure and affordability also have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. These properties will provide a great way to live.”

Cllr Pearson added; “It is estimated that it costs the NHS at least £1.4bn a year in treating those who have ailments as a direct result from living in poor quality housing.

“We have seen what a vital role the NHS plays in our society over the past year and this high cost in terms of health and NHS treatment can be reigned in through schemes like Brookfield Close. We all want to do the best we can to keep ourselves as healthy as possible.

With this a clear priority, Brookfield Close will feature green infrastructure with community and private green spaces, an outdoor gym, water feature, children’s play areas and allotments – which all contribute dramatically to individual and community wellbeing.”

Brookfield Close will be the first scheme under the council’s Small Sites Affordable Homes Programme which aims to better utilise land and assets to deliver genuinely affordable homes for local residents on brownfield sites over a seven-year period. Phase 1 is expected to achieve at least 100 new homes.

Cllr Pearson added; “We promised to prioritise and deliver carbon reduction schemes and accessible homes for the borough that best match the environmental green space that makes Brentwood so special.

“The Brookfield Close proposals aim to deliver carbon zero ‘in use’ homes once occupied, and this is just the start. We are already undertaking assessments of other potential sites for similar future proofed housing as part of our commitment to provide 350 dwellings a year.”

In the last six months the site has been assessed, a master plan prepared and residents consulted. A webinar on the proposals can be seen at www.brookfieldclosehutton.co.uk

The proposals will go to the planning committee in late Spring.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]