Local residents invited to help shape plans for Elmswell’s exemplar housing development
Elmswell residents are invited to a special drop-in session organised by Mid Suffolk District Council on Thursday (November 17) to find out more about proposals for an exemplar eco-friendly housing development and help shape the plans.
The event, which runs from 2pm to 7.30pm at the Wesley Centre in School Road, gives local people the chance to learn more about how council-owned land in Church Road could be used to build 50 environmentally friendly low carbon homes.
The £15m development would include a mix of affordable homes for social housing and open market properties – all boasting the best possible green credentials and sustainable features to showcase to developers the type of sustainable and high standard that the council wants within its district.
Properties would be ‘sustainable by design’, all with fabric first approach increased insulation, airtight and low energy designs – maximising solar power and reduced energy costs. Plans would include planting to encourage biodiversity, including shared outdoor community spaces and a community garden with water collection, and planted buffer zones between new homes and existing neighbours.
The scheme would potentially be delivered by the council’s own development company Mid Suffolk Growth Ltd, a venture set up to enable the council to deliver more new housing and meaning higher standards than the profit margins of other developers would allow. The council will, however, still look to achieve a modest profit for the scheme overall, which can then be reinvested across the district, from the sale of the market homes.
Cabinet member for Assets and Investments, Cllr Peter Gould said:
This low carbon exemplar scheme would provide much needed affordable homes for the local community as well as being a blueprint for others to follow in terms of producing high-quality low carbon homes in line with our council’s new design guide and specification. It would be an asset not only to the local community – but to the district as a whole in demonstrating to others the standards of development that we expect in Mid Suffolk.”
Cabinet member for Housing, Cllr Lavinia Hadingham said:
There is a need for more affordable homes within Elmswell – and this land, owned by the council for the specific purpose of providing housing – can provide a mix of properties for social housing such as affordable rent and affordable ownership, as well as homes to be sold on the open market. Initial design works shows that an exemplar scheme of around 50 high quality homes is possible. Our next step is to speak to local residents to seek their views.”
Officers will use comments from the session to help shape their plans ahead of submitting a planning application later this year – however this won’t be the only opportunity local residents have to give their feedback. As part of the usual planning process, the plans will be shared online, and everyone invited to submit their comments for consideration by officers and the planning committee ahead of a debate and vote at a public planning meeting. Look out for further information over coming months.