Leicester eco homes given green light
"The Passivhaus credentials will make this a flagship development for emh group, Westleigh, and Leicester itself."
Jim Patman, emh group Development Director
Plans by social housing provider emh group for 68 new eco homes on disused land near Saffron Lane in Leicester have been given the go ahead by Leicester City Council by a strong majority vote.
The scheme will be built by leading developer Westleigh to Passivhaus standard, meaning the homes will have high levels of insulation and controlled ventilation standards. This will ensure a low carbon footprint and energy efficient homes that can reduce energy costs for residents. The development is the largest Passivhaus affordable housing scheme in the country.
This is a community-led partnership between emh group, Leicester City Council, Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council (SLNC), and Whetstone-based Westleigh. The local community has helped with the plans to regenerate the 13 acre site, ensuring that the new homes will meet local needs and are sympathetic to the surrounding area. The plans will also see SLNC extend its Saffron Acres Project, a community allotment and food production scheme. The homes are due to be completed in May 2016.
The £7m development costs will be met by emh group and include a contribution of £1.55m from the Homes and Communities Agency. Leicester City Council contributed to the funding of the project by selling the land for just £1 to SLNC, who in turn will provide emh group with a 125-year lease. The homes will be owned and managed by emh homes, the landlord arm of the group, with Leicester City Council having first nomination rights.
Jim Patman, Development Director at emh group, said: “We are delighted that there is strong support from the local community and Leicester City Council. As well as providing much-needed affordable homes, the Passivhaus credentials will make this a flagship development for emh group, Westleigh, and Leicester itself. It just goes to show what can be achieved with strong partnership working.”
Gary Turner, Head of Partnerships and Investments at Westleigh, commented: “We are very proud to be involved in this exciting partnership scheme which will raise the profile of developing more eco-friendly properties across the county.”
Leicester City Council Assistant Mayor for Housing Andy Connelly added: “The scheme will help provide much-needed affordable housing, built to the extremely high standards of energy efficiency. Our contribution of the underused land will help attract £7 million of investment in the city, and the completed scheme will stand as a beacon for sustainable and affordable housing.”