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Update – future-proof homes in Bournemouth, Yorkshire and Scotland

Simple Life has partnered with Vistry Partnerships and Wakefield District Housing to build 140 two and three-bedroom eco-friendly properties in the village of Normanton, West Yorkshire.

The £21 million development, named Ashfield Park, is housed on a former railway storage yard, providing a new lease of life to a previously derelict area, which has been vacant for many years.

Ashfield Park will deliver 72 homes exclusively for rent through Simple Life, while Vistry Partnerships will offer 35 homes for open market sale through the Linden Homes brand and Wakefield District Housing will provide 33 properties for shared ownership.


With sustainability at the heart of this scheme, all Simple Life properties will come fitted with a charging point for an electric or hybrid car as standard, with several houses offering solar windows, providing natural sunlight as a source of power.

Commenting on the development, Niamh Waldron, ESG director at Simple Life, says: “In line with our plans to enhance biodiversity in our homes wherever possible, we have a select number of houses at Ashfield Park planted with wildlife- friendly gardens, including wildflower areas with butterfly and bee friendly seed mix, as well as the increased number of trees to ensure the benefits therein can be fully realised.”

“The evidential positive impact on both the environment and personal wellbeing of our residents by including the addition of trees forms the basis for this development and we look forward to working closely with our residents to ensure all can benefit from our eco enhanced site.”

Andrew Poyner, managing director at Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire, comments: “We were delighted to bring this residential opportunity forward with our partners at Simple Life and Wakefield District Housing, offering a wide range of ownership and rental options across the development.”

Ashfield Park is within commuting distance to major cities, providing easy access of both the train station and the M62 motorway.

The scheme is also well-served by primary and secondary schools, as well as being within three miles of Snowhill Retail Park and a commutable distance to X Scape Leisure Complex which occupies an indoor ski slope, bowling alley, cinema, shops and restaurants.

All Simple Life properties will be available unfurnished with fully-fitted kitchens including all major appliances, such as an oven, hob, fridge-freezer, dishwasher and washing machine. These homes are now available and open for applications, with the development expected to complete later this year.

Custom-built homes to protect Scotland’s environment

Rowallan Castle Estate has partnered with Cherish Homes to deliver 79 luxury custom build homes on the 600-acre estate in East Ayrshire, Scotland.

The £60 million partnership will see sustainability, low energy costs and protecting the environment at the heart of the design. Every home will be triple glazed, highly insulated and utilise mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems to achieve 100% airtightness.

As a result, they will offer a significant saving on energy bills, and there will be further reductions if a ground source or air-source heat pump is installed to heat the home from the outside.

Cherish Homes says most people will see their energy bills plummet when moving from a similar-sized but less efficient house. Meanwhile, others who install more equipment such as Tesla powerwalls and solar panels could see a nil energy cost per month, especially with government-backed renewable heat incentive (RHI) energy subsidies.

It is anticipated that the homes will achieve a SAPs rating in the high 80s and air source or ground source heat pumps will achieve a high B rating while adding solar panels and other measures can push this to an A rating.

Steve Crotty, who built a home with Cherish in North Wales, says: “The house has never fallen below 22 degrees indoors and the metered usage for heat and water has been £40 a month over the period October to April.”

“My RHI is £111 per quarter so over the course of the year (given there'll be no heating used over the summer months) the RHI will exceed the cost of the electricity.”

The UK has outlined its commitment to reducing direct CO2 emissions from homes by 24% by 2030 and Stuart Law, chief executive of Cherish Homes, is seeing increased importance being placed on sustainability with buyers wanting to ‘future proof’ their homes.

He comments: “We fully support the move to reduce CO2 emissions and we ensure that energy efficiency is at the heart of all our custom-built homes. We aren’t seeing much delivery of this with the national housebuilders but there is far more interest from smaller developers who are focused on delivering on what many customers really want.”

“In our custom-build developments we are focused on protecting the environment as well as lowering running costs for homeowners by reducing energy demands for heating to a very low level by utilising renewable sources.”

He adds: “All our homes are built using Passivhaus design principles which are superinsulated structures; have airtight construction; high-performance glazing; thermal-bridge-free detailing, and heat recovery ventilation.”

“The new homeowner also has a direct input into any further energy-saving upgrades they may want such as rainwater harvesting or electric car-charging points and home batteries.”

The first 51 plots have been released for homes worth between £400,000 and £1 million and 10 have already been reserved.

Niall Campbell, owner of Rowallan Castle Estate, adds: “These luxury homes at Rowallan Castle Estate will be built in one of Scotland’s most beautiful natural environments, set amongst stunning scenery and greenspace.”

“The idyllic setting underlines the importance of protecting our environment for future generations and strengthens our commitment to creating stunning homes with minimal carbon emissions to ensure that we are building homes for the future.”

Major BTR scheme coming to Bournemouth

Summix Capital and Evolve Estates have secured planning consent for a major new Build to Rent (BTR) scheme in Bournemouth town centre following approval by BCP Council’s Planning Committee.

The proposals would see the delivery of 211 high-quality new homes available for rent alongside new commercial facilities, retail space and landscaping improvements.

The site is in a highly sustainable location benefiting from close proximity to shops and services, employment opportunities and public transport links. The proposals also include the provision of 362 cycle spaces and car club parking to encourage sustainable travel.

The 211 new homes on-site will provide a range of housing sizes to cater for demand in the local area from young professionals right through to growing families.

Stuart Black, development director for Summix Capital, comments: “We’re pleased our proposals to redevelop the Richmond Gardens site with much-needed new homes have been approved by BCP Council.”

“Build to Rent accommodation is ideally suited to this site given its town-centre location and close proximity to a range of employers, helping to meet an identified need for new homes in Bournemouth.”

“The proposals also present an opportunity to revitalise this part of the town centre with development expected to support more than 370 jobs during construction and in the wider supply chain.”

Danny O’Keefe, partner of Evolve Estates, adds: “We are delighted to deliver this consent alongside our partners Summix, helping to add more diversity and community to the town centre of Bournemouth.”

“Such consents are excellent ways to help improve high streets in an increasingly challenging climate.”

Last year, Summix Capital and Evolve Estates also received planning approval for a student scheme on the site. This approval includes the delivery of purpose-built student accommodation for 625 students as well as a range of spaces for local businesses.


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