Exemplar housing development for Elmswell to be considered » Babergh Mid Suffolk

Posted by on 28 October 2022 | Comments

Council-owned land in Elmswell could be used for a development of 50 environmentally friendly low carbon homes in a scheme going before Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet members next month.

The scheme for the site in Church Road is described as being in “very early stages”, with the council exploring feasibility for what might be possible – but one option is to use the land to demonstrate an exemplar housing scheme including a mix of affordable homes for social housing and open market properties – all boasting the best possible green credentials and sustainable features to showcase the council’s new design guide and specification.

The £15m investment would not only provide high quality sustainable new homes for residents, but also deliver much needed affordable homes for the local community and demonstrate to developers the type of sustainable and high standard that the council wants within its district.

Under the innovative scheme, 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. If cabinet agrees to consider this option, our next step will be to speak to existing local residents to seek their views.”

If cabinet agrees to next steps, further information will follow over future public engagement over coming weeks. A planning application would then be submitted later in the year – which will be subject to further public consultation and scrutiny before being decided by the council’s planning committee, as part of the usual process.

The report will be heard by Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet at their meeting on Monday 7 November. The full report and livestream of the meeting on the day is available on the council website

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