Work begins on £11.6m Passivhaus scheme

Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) has started work to build 72 low-energy homes in the city.

The city’s largest housing association has appointed Mi-space to build the £11.6m Passivhaus scheme in Bodmin Road, Whitleigh, which will provide of a range of one bedroom flats and two and three bedroom houses.

The properties will be built using Passivhaus design principles which will provide residents with a home that requires minimal energy for heating due to the high levels of insulation and air sealing.
The development is being marketed as Primrose Park and will include 23 homes for shared ownership sale while 49 homes will be let at affordable rents.

The site, which was formerly occupied by Woodland and Hillside Schools, is due to be completed in spring 2018.

Nick Jackson, Director of Business Services and Development, said: “We’re very excited to be developing homes to exceptionally high energy efficiency standards which are good for tenants and homeowners and good for the environment.

“This site is one of the largest of its kind in the country and will provide valuable information in both how to build and live in such homes. We’re pleased to be working with Mi-space and grateful to the support shown by both Plymouth City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency in making sure this development can come to fruition.”

Nigel Pitt, Chair of PCH’s Development Board, added: “Low-energy buildings like these homes in Whitleigh are the key to tackling fuel poverty so it’s great to see that work is underway to make this happen.”

Rob Bradley, Executive Director for Mi-space, part of the Midas Group, said: “We’re very proud to continue to work with PCH on another exciting and transformative building project in the city. Fuel poverty is a huge issue and one that is getting worse, with the long term outlook for energy price rises looking like an average increase of 8-9% a year.

“The backdrop of the work we’re doing here is the government’s target to make every home reach an EPC level C Energy performance standard by 2025.”

PCH recently worked alongside Mi-space in North Prospect, where the building firm helped to refurbish more than 300 homes.

The Bodmin Road site is one of Plymouth City Council’s Plan for Homes sites, which sees the council release land for housebuilding.

Councillor Steve Ricketts, Cabinet Member for Transport and Housing Delivery for Plymouth City Council, said: “I am delighted that work has begun on these new Passivhaus homes.

“As a council, we are committed to ensuring there are more homes for people in Plymouth, and also making sure homes are more energy efficient and this ticks both boxes.”

PCH and Mi-space have also visited nearby Brook Green Centre for Learning to explain to pupils what we’re doing and seek suggestions for road names.

Through this contract, Mi-Space is required to create at least three new apprenticeships and safeguard a further nine, as well as to move three people into permanent employment.