Rural eco-development leads the way
Five new eco-friendly bungalows, featuring grass roofs and solar panels, have now been completed and handed over to residents of the district. The homes feature grass roofs, solar panels and leading heating technology. They are the first in England to use a particular type of exhaust air heat pump. The eco-friendly technology uses air ducts to transfer air from warm areas within the bungalow, such as the kitchen or bathroom, to heat up the rest of the property.
Funding for the development came from Chichester District Council, Hyde Martlet and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The HCA allocated a higher-than normal grant to HydeMartlet because of the energy efficiency designs.
The bungalows have solar water heating, water butts, bin stores and sedum roofs made from specially grown low maintenance moss. This unique form of insulation reduces energy costs and carbon emissions. It also keeps the building cool in the summer and maintains a constant heat throughout the winter.
Designed by local architects, the homes have been allocated through the council's Choice-Based Lettings system. The homes are rented at a weekly rate of £104.94. Priority has been given to those over the age of 50, tenants who currently have more space than they need in their housing association homes, and households with a local connection to Westbourne.
Austin Wade, Development Officer at HydeMartlet, says: "We are thrilled to have delivered the first Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 scheme in the Chichester District. The innovative use of sustainable technologies is a credit to the partnership work that has brought this scheme to fruition."
Councillor Melva Bateman, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Chichester District Council, says: "We hope this will be one of many eco-friendly, affordable housing developments delivered by HydeMartlet and the council. More than 80% of our residents live in rural areas, so there is a real need to deliver affordable housing here.
"We have a £3 million pot of money to deliver affordable housing within the district, but to do that we need land to build on. The council's Housing Investment Team has highlighted parishes with the highest rural housing need, and are contacting them to discuss ways to address this. However, we would ask any parish council or landowner who is interested in rural affordable housing to contact us so that together we can meet the needs of the district.