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A site in Peterborough has recently moved a step closer to becoming the country’s second zero carbon community in English Partnerships’ Carbon Challenge.

House builders have been invited by the national regeneration agency, the East of England Development Agency and Peterborough City Council to express interest in developing 450 environmentally sustainable homes at South Bank Phase 1 (Glebe Road). This is the first step in the competition process that will end in spring 2008 with the appointment of a preferred developer for the site.

South Bank Phase 1 - a 7 ha area of brownfield land, owned by the three public sector bodies - has been identified as the second site in the country to be suitable for development under English Partnerships’ Carbon Challenge, following a 150-home site in Bristol.

The site is part of the regeneration of the South Bank of the River Nene in Peterborough, which in turn is part of an overall billion-pound transformation of the city being led by urban regeneration company Opportunity Peterborough.

The Challenge is an opportunity for developers to gain experience of building to the highest level of the government's Code for Sustainable Homes. It calls on developers to demonstrate that zero carbon homes, combined with cutting-edge building design and technology, are economically viable on a commercial scale.

John Lewis, Regional Director for English Partnerships, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Peterborough to be leading the way on climate change, with more new highly sustainable homes being created to meet the needs of local people. With Peterborough striving to become the most sustainable city in England the bar is set high, but the Carbon Challenge will bring it a big step closer to achieving this goal.”

This initial stage asks for evidence that the firms have the right team to build homes which respond to the climate change agenda by reducing carbon emissions and incorporating features to reduce water usage and energy consumption, as well as minimising waste and encouraging more environmentally sensitive lifestyles by residents. The chosen developer will need to work closely with Opportunity Peterborough and its public sector partners to ensure that the site integrates with the master plan for the complete South Bank which is currently being drawn up.

Peterborough City Council Leader Councillor John Peach said: “This is an exciting milestone in the Carbon Challenge proposals and we look forward to receiving submissions from developers.

“The Glebe Road carbon challenge community is significant for Peterborough in several ways. It will provide an important impetus for proposals for the redevelopment of the wider South Bank area and the scheme will contribute to Peterborough’s aspirations to become the UK’s Environment Capital for sustainable living and technological excellence.

“I hope the technologies incorporated into these carbon challenge homes are quickly adopted by all residential developers and especially those that are responsible for new house-building schemes in Peterborough.”

George Bennett, Regional Renaissance Manager at EEDA, added: “The Peterborough City carbon challenge shows that the region is ready to rise to Gordon Browns' challenge to deliver half a million new homes while being as carbon neutral as possible. This project is a real example of partnership working and will bring a key strategic site back to life and help Peterborough achieve its full potential as the heart of a sub-regional economy.

English Partnerships will ensure that all homes are well built, well designed, of the best quality and are available to the widest cross section of the community as possible. The government has made it clear that all new homes will need to be zero carbon from 2016 and through the Carbon Challenge, South Bank Phase 1 will be leading the way.

Around six developers are expected to be short listed who will then be invited to submit a more substantive bid in response to a detailed design brief. The selected developer will be responsible for preparing plans for the site and undertaking wide-ranging public consultation as part of the planning process, giving local people an opportunity to help shape the new development.

October 2007 - Peterborough UK Community Website




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