72 eco-friendly affordable homes come to Plymouth

Homes for the South West member Plymouth Community Homes are celebrating the completion of a ground-breaking development of 72 new affordable homes, which are so eco-friendly they need virtually no heating.

The 72 ‘Passivhaus’ homes have been built by our construction partners Mi-space at Primrose Park in Whitleigh. The development provides 49 homes for affordable rent and 23 for shared ownership through PCH’s regeneration company, SO Living.

Passivhaus is an energy standard with excellent thermal performance, making energy bills extremely low, and Primrose Park is believed to be the largest completed and fully Passivhaus-certified scheme to date in the UK.

We developed the site in partnership with Plymouth City Council after it gifted us with the land as part of the Get Plymouth Building programme.

The homes benefit from doors and triple-glazed windows which let in virtually no draughts and were precision-made by PCH Manufacturing.

As well as being low-energy, Primrose Park is the first Passivhaus development in the UK to receive a Secured by Design gold award. We worked with the city council and Mitchell Architects to ensure the development met standards set by Secured by Design, the national police crime prevention initiative.

The award means we have incorporated crime prevention techniques into the scheme’s layout and landscaping, providing added security for the residents who live there.

Representatives from PCH, PCH Manufacturing, Mi-space, Plymouth City Council and other partners gathered for a celebration at Primrose Park to mark the scheme’s completion and receive the Secured by Design Award.

John Clark, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes, said: “It’s great news that this development has reached completion. PCH is committed to providing affordable homes for the city and is proud of the fact that their unique design means lower fuel bills which is good news for residents.

“We’re happy to do our bit in tackling fuel poverty and we’re thankful to Mi-space and Plymouth City Council for working with us to make this happen. We hope residents enjoy living here for years to come.”

Ian Farrell, Divisional Director for Mi-space, which is part of the Midas Group, said: “We have been extremely proud to be a part of this scheme and to have worked so closely and successfully with PCH, Plymouth City Council, the project team and our own suppliers in bringing innovative solutions to meet the project’s exacting Passivhaus standards.

“It has been a wonderful opportunity for us as a regionally-based business to create not only much-needed homes for local families but to be able to do so in a project which sets new standards for low energy housing development on this scale in the UK.”

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development, said: “Having worked on this scheme from the very start, I am delighted to see it complete and houses become homes for so many families.

“Our Plan for Homes promised the accelerated delivery of truly affordable, energy efficient homes and Primrose Park stands as a testament and example of how we, along with our partners, have made it work.”

PCH Chief Executive John Clark is pictured above, right, accepting our Passivhaus certification from Passivhaus designer Will South.

Please click here to watch a video about the Passivhaus scheme.