England’s first large-scale housing scheme to meet level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes gains approval

The green light has been given to England’s first large-scale development to be built to level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The 195-house zero-carbon scheme, which is part of the Hanham Hall eco-village in south Gloucestershire, is being developed by Barratt Developments and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) as part of the government’s Carbon Challenge programme.

Designed by HTA Architects, the new homes will be constructed with very high insulation standards to conserve energy and will make use of materials from the existing buildings on the site.

Hanham Hall home cross-section

A cross-section of one of the homes at Hanham Hall

Robert Napier, chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “As one of the HCA’s flagship schemes, this is about testing the highest level of the Code for Sustainable Homes and looking at innovative ways to achieve true sustainability.

“This will be the first large-scale development in the country to be built to this high standard, demonstrating that while level six is a challenge, it is one we must achieve if we are to prevent the impact of climate change and dwindling natural resources.”

Hanham Hall itself, a former hospital building, will be refurbished and transformed into a community centre for the neighbourhood. The centre will include a “sustainable living hub” to help people become “greener” by providing a crèche, a café and a base for a car club.

A community-owned and -run development trust will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the entire neighbourhood, including building maintenance, car sharing and gardening clubs.

Work on site is due to start by the end of the year and the first homes are planned to be completed by 2010.