First energy-efficient homes ready for residents at Manor Gardens in Frenchay

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Left to right: Councillor Adam Monk, South Gloucestershire Council cabinet member for resources, Sally Higham (Chair Aequus), Sarah McQuatt (Head of Development, Alliance Homes) and Sue Scholfield (Managing Director, Vistry Bristol)

The first energy-efficient homes at Manor Gardens development off Malmains Drive in Frenchay have been handed to social housing provider, Alliance Homes, ready for their new residents.

Representatives from South Gloucestershire Council, Aequus Construction Limited (ACL), Alliance Homes and Vistry Group – a UK mixed-tenure developer, gathered at Manor Gardens to mark the significant milestone in the project to deliver 30 new homes, with over a third being affordable.

The homes have been built by ACL, in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, and Vistry Group, as part of the council’s ongoing efforts to improve local communities by delivering quality, sustainable homes through a plan-led approach. The land the homes are being built on was sold to ACL by South Gloucestershire Council under the partnership arrangement.

The entire development is being built to highly energy efficiency standards, set out by the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB). These are designed to keep household bills to a minimum and reduce their impact on the local environment.

The new homes include climate-friendly elements including solar panels, air source heat pumps, extra insulation, mechanical ventilation and recovery systems and a dedicated electric vehicle charging point.

These measures will reduce emissions and cut energy bills by an estimated 70 per cent in comparison to similar average properties. Eleven of the homes will be affordable, of which eight will be designated for social rent via Alliance Homes and three will be available for shared ownership.

The development will also feature a central public open space and will include biodiverse and resilient planting and sustainable urban drainage.

Councillor Adam Monk, cabinet member for resources at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “I’m delighted that the first new homes at Manor Gardens are complete and we can hand them over to Alliance Homes. This development shows what can be achieved by working with our partners to deliver high-quality, energy-efficient and affordable homes within our communities.

“We know the financial challenges faced by households are significant with energy costs being so high. These homes will help people and families stay warm while keeping costs down to an absolute minimum due to their highly efficient construction. The impact on the environment is also reduced due to the efficiency of the heating and ventilation systems installed, solar technology and EV charge points. I’m sure the new residents will be over the moon.”

Sally Higham, the Chair of Aequus which is a company owned by Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “Aequus are delighted to be handing over these completed low energy affordable homes to Alliance. Working with our partners at South Gloucestershire Council we have been able to develop these exemplar family homes of a high quality and sustainability standard incorporating a range of social and community benefits. We are also pleased that development profits will be shared with the Council ensuring the wider communities of South Gloucestershire benefit from this partnership working approach.”

Alliance Homes, Head of Development, Sarah McQuatt said: “At Alliance, we want to create great places that our rented and shared ownership customers are proud to call home. As our customers are beginning to move into their new homes, we are getting some great feedback regarding the quality of their new homes and the reduction in their associated running costs. The homes at Manor Gardens have continued to push the boundaries of the type of affordable housing that can be achieved when partners work closely together and we are really proud of what we have been able to achieve.”

Sue Scholfield, regional managing director for Vistry Bristol, commented: “To be involved in delivering energy efficient homes to such a high standard is testament to the vision and drive of South Gloucestershire Council and Aequus Construction Limited. We’re pleased to be part of this milestone event and to see the first properties handed over to Alliance Homes, ready for their new residents.”