Ambitious zero carbon housing scheme in Brentwood gets green light Friday, 9 July, 2021

An exciting new development has been given the go ahead in Essex, which will see the creation of 62 zero carbon homes, as part of an ambitious housing programme in the county.

The Brookfield Close scheme, in Brentwood, is set to be one of the biggest boosts to affordable housing in the area in decades and is being hailed as a model for future developments across the country, with Hamson Barron Smith acting as technical consultants on the project.

In addition to incorporating sustainable design features, 70% of the new homes will be classified as affordable housing, helping to further address the shortage of housing in the area.

Residents will also make major savings on their fuel bills, which are expected to drop to just £100 a year thanks to the scheme’s energy-efficient designs.

Architects and multi-discipline teams from Hamson Barron Smith – the Norse Group’s specialist interdisciplinary design consultancy – have been working closely with the client and with planning permission now in place, it is set to be delivered at pace.

Norse Group Director, Richard Gawthorpe, said: “This is fantastic news for everyone involved in this exciting scheme, providing much-needed affordable homes for the local community.

“The Brookfield Close development is another fine example of how local authorities can successfully deliver innovative sustainable housing schemes which also have a regenerative effect on local areas.

“By continuing to work in partnership with Brentwood Borough Council, we look forward to seeing this scheme come to life.”

The project is part of the Council’s Strategic Housing Delivery Plan that will see 31 existing homes and disused garages replaced with homes that offer ground source heat pumps for heating, maximise solar energy, and capture heat from waste water to convert into energy again. The designs for the homes will centre around improving air quality to help support residents’ health, particularly those with respiratory illnesses.

The development will also feature – community and private green spaces, an outdoor gym, swales which sustainably manage and cleanse the surface water, together with offering a habitat and growth in biodiversity, children’s play areas and allotments – supporting individual and community wellbeing.

Cllr Jon Cloke, Chair of Brentwood Borough Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee, said: “This is a major innovation from the Council to provide council housing at a level not seen since the 1940s.

“The development is being flagged nationally as the way to do a carbon zero development. The emphasis on zero carbon in use – which means the amount of carbon emissions associated with the properties’ operational energy is zero or negative – is so important for the green agenda and of course the health of those living in the homes and the environment overall.”

Brentwood Borough Council’s Environment, Enforcement and Housing Committee Chair, Cllr Maria Pearson, added: “I am delighted that permission has been granted so we can now get going on making this a reality and helping families in the borough move into the properties that make up this fabulous cutting edge scheme.

“The Brookfield Close proposals aim to deliver carbon zero ‘in use’ homes once occupied, and this is just the start. We are already undertaking assessments of other potential sites for similar future proofed housing as part of our commitment to provide 350 dwellings a year.”