Sector - Sustainability

Sustainable Housing Scheme for 2021 Start

Work on a new 88-home Cotswold Village neighbourhood could begin in 2021 after a final application was submitted.

The new village will see half of the houses built be affordable housing and is earmarked for the Severell’s Field development in Siddington, near Cirencester. Retired architect Nicholas Arbuthnott of South Cerney had the vision behind the scheme, secured an option on the 35-acre site next to Barton Farm, and was given outline planning permission on appeal in June 2017.

The environmentally friendly housing estate will occupy just 11 acres of the site, with the rest being devoted to woodland, landscaping and a new pond which will act as a wildlife haven.

Mr Arbuthnott has entered into a joint venture (JV) partnership with housebuilder Stonewood Partnership, which is based in Tormarton, to build the neighbourhood, which will be designed by another arm of the Stonewood Group, Stonewood Design.

The stone and render homes will also be designed to conserve as much energy as possible. Mr Arbuthnott explained: “The aim is to make the houses as close to passive as we can in terms of energy use. We will use mechanical ventilation heat recovery to recycle hot air, which means energy bills are much lower.

“We want to try and be fossil fuel free by using air source heat pumps, solar panels on the roofs and we’ll also build a solar farm with the aim of feeding the electricity into the houses.

“We have designed the site to have many parking spaces with charging points. We are trying to future proof the development as far as we can.”

The houses will have walls up to 60cm thick to ensure the construction of the homes contributes most to their energy efficiency.

Matt Vaudin, Stonewood Design architect, said the ethos of the development isn’t just sustainable buildings: “You need to get the social side of things right too. If you plonk a load of houses and face them all south so you have got all the best roofs for solar panels, you’ll have cool eco houses but you won’t have created a community,”

Mr Vaudin led a team of specialist consultants including Cirencester-based landscape architects Portus Whitton. A footpath and cycleway will link the development to the village via neighbouring Siddington Primary School and the 2,350 homes being built on the neighbouring Bathurst Estate.

The reserved matters application for landscaping, appearance, and scale to Cotswold District Council will be considered in the next few months and, if approved, work is set to begin early in 2021.

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