Brentwood Borough Council zero carbon scheme gets planning permission

By Chris Seeley · 2 July 2021

Brookfield Close in Brentwood, is one of the first schemes of many schemes that the sector will deliver as organisations increasingly focus on delivering net-zero, truly affordable homes by 2050. These affordable homes will not only reduce household bills but positively impact the resident’s wellbeing.

The development has already attracted regional attention and has been identified by Essex County Council as an exemplar development to be recognised in the soon to be published climate commission report. The development creates a strong sense of place using the arrangement of streets and green spaces to provide an attractive neighbourhood setting that is safe, inclusive and accessible. The development will be delivering a place to encourage sustainable travel, including the provision of cycle storage, electrical vehicle charging points, as well as a parking space designated for a green community bus in the future.

The scheme will use Passivhaus fabric first approach on the new build. Although most of the new housing will require full demolition of the existing stock, an existing 3-story block, currently housing 15 flats will be decanted, stripped back to the core, and retrofitted to zero carbon fabric standards. Although notionally less cost effective than demolition and rebuild purely in financial terms, keeping the embedded carbon in the superstructure embedded, not only maintains the spirit of the development but also gives the Council the opportunity, on this first development, to assess the impact and benefits of new build versus retrofitted zero carbon products for its future programme.

ARK Director, Ian Winslet who has been the strategic lead at Brentwood, is particularly pleased that we delivered on its initial commitment to work at a pace without diminishing quality or resident engagement. In just twelve months Brentwood Borough Council was recently granted permission go ahead of the Brookfield Close development which will deliver 62 zero carbon homes.

Speaking at the planning and licensing committee on June 29 representing the Council’s Director of Housing as applicant, Ian  said: “The proposal will deliver the first new council homes at scale in Brentwood for more than 40 years. It will reduce resident’s bills, we predict, to less than £100 a year, tackling in parallel both fuel poverty and the council’s own housing waiting list.

The development has already attracted regional attention and has been identified by the County as an exemplar development to be recognised in the soon to be published climate commission report.

The development will help regenerate an underused area of existing housing, in fact 27 percent of homes at Brookfield Close are already vacant and boarded. It will also regenerate some 40 garages that currently house consistently more anti-social behaviour than they do cars.

He added: “The development, we believe, creates a strong sense of place using the arrangement of streets and green spaces to provide an attractive neighbourhood setting that is safe, inclusive and also accessible as delivering higher density, and a greater efficient use of land as hitherto been the case at Brookfield Close”.

We have played a leading strategic role in the evolution of the scheme, just one of a wide range of projects and developments being delivered for councils and housing associations throughout the UK.

To find out more about our development and regeneration service get in touch with Chris Seeley.

 

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