Planning granted for major passive scheme in South Wales

An innovative scheme to develop the site of the former Caerphilly Magistrates Court in South Wales into 38 new social homes built to passive house standard has been granted planning permission by Caerphilly Council.

This article was originally published in issue 25 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €10, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge

Childs & Sulzmann Architects were initially approached by affordable housing provider, Linc-Cymru, to explore options for applying passive house energy efficiency standards to a proposed social housing development. Then, as architects and lead consultants for the £5m scheme, Childs & Sulzmann worked collaboratively on the planning process and produced the tender pack for the scheme.

The news of the planning approval for the first large-scale passive house project in Wales came on the same day that tenders were received from contractors bidding to build the scheme. The project was due to start on site in April 2018 with an anticipated completion date of January 2019.

Matt Parsons, who heads up the Welsh office of Childs & Sulzmann, is leading the project and commented: “This is an exciting project that will really fulfil a need in Wales for low energy affordable housing. It’s a way of ensuring that those who can least afford to pay high energy bills are living in comfortable, warm, quality homes."

Keri Harding-Jones, project manager for Linc-Cymru added: “This project will provide affordable homes for our residents in a sustainable location. The energy saving and improved internal air quality measures provided by [passive house will] help reduce fuel poverty and improve tenant health by eliminating damp and mould. We are delighted that the scheme received planning and can move forward to a site start.”

Childs & Sulzmann also supported Linc-Cymru’s successful bid to the Welsh government for grant aid for the project, through the Innovative Housing Programme. The funding has been allocated to demonstrator projects to help inform the Welsh government, housing associations and local authorities about the type of homes needed to meet future demand while addressing environmental issues.

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