7 October 2011
Council tenants needing a new home in Bristol are starting to benefit from plans designed by WYG’s architects and planning experts with phase one of Bristol City Council’s overall master plan complete.
Twelve new council houses on three former council-owned garage sites at Crokeswood Walk, Barrowmead Drive and Saltmarsh Drive in Lawrence Weston, Bristol, have been completed and Bristol City Council’s tenants have now moved in to their new homes.
The homes, which range from two-bedroom bungalows to four-bedroom houses, have been funded by Bristol City Council with the help of £775,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
Paul Thomas, Associate Director Planning & Design, WYG said: “WYG has enjoyed working with Bristol City Council on this flagship scheme to provide high quality, low energy new council houses. It has been an open, collaborative process working closely with the client and design team, Bristol City Council’s planning officers, and contractor, Mansell.”
WYG prepared a master plan and planning strategy for the replacement of around 550 defective precast concrete houses with 1,000 new homes on more than 100 sites in Henbury, Lawrence Weston, Lockleaze and Sea Mills in Bristol. However, Bristol City Council had to change its previously intended delivery process because of the difficult economic climate and Homes & Communities Agency funding was obtained for the first phase of development, which would allow Bristol City Council to begin re-housing tenants from the affected homes to allow redevelopment to proceed.
Paul continued: “It has been very rewarding developing house type designs that are suitable for the Council’s tenants and to 21st century standards. These homes are designed to the highest standards, such as: Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, Lifetime Homes, and exceeding the minimum requirements of the Housing Quality Standards.
“This project has involved extensive community consultation and a detailed analysis of the sites to ensure that local residents were affected as little as possible; including ensuring pedestrian and car accesses were maintained. Having been through many iterations of the site design it is very satisfying that all the sites completed have achieved a Building for Life Gold Standard. This is a vindication of the efforts of the client and the design team.”
WYG’s architects designed the homes with the basic strategy to ‘wrap up warm and vent right’ with very high insulation and low air infiltration. Low/zero carbon technologies in the form of air source heat pumps and solar hot water panels were used to provide space heating through underfloor heating – and hot water.
The contemporary design of the homes was partly in response to the Council’s requirements to express the sustainability credentials of the scheme and also to enable the southerly orientation of the roofs on very tight sites to optimise the performance of the solar technology.
Councillor Anthony Negus, Cabinet Member for Housing, Property Services and Regeneration, said: “I am very pleased that this project has now been completed and it is great to see the plans WYG helped design come to fruition. Twelve new homes are, of course, very welcome but they are only a step in the right direction.
“We [the Council] are continuing to work with our partners to explore other ways in which we can provide more accommodation, such as bringing empty properties back into use. It is an area where we have been enjoying success and I want us to do even better. Last year the council brought 530 empty homes back into use.”
The new homes are fully accessible and future proofed for users needs achieving lifetime homes and meet secured by design standards improving the level of security and wellbeing for the new and existing residents of Lawrence Weston. The scheme has been independently assessed for Building for Life and achieved the Gold standard.
John Boutwood, Manager, HCA Investment and Regeneration said: “Working with Bristol City Council and its partners, we are able to play an important role in building better, stronger communities and these homes are just one example of the impact this can have. I’m very pleased to see these homes completed and I am sure that local residents will welcome them too.”
Image caption: Four new three-bedroom family homes designed to optimise efficiencies of solar technologies replace former derelict garage site at Barrowmead Drive, Lawrence Weston