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Energy efficient homes planned for Beaulieu

report has been published that sets out how 66 proposed homes in part of Chelmsford’s Beaulieu development could be built as highly energy efficient.

Chelmsford City Council, in partnership with Countryside Properties and Homes England, have published the report, which assesses the practical and financial implications of making an already-proposed housing development zero carbon ready.

The forward-thinking proposal means steps will be taken during the build process to ensure the homes comply with Government’s emerging Future Homes Standard (FHS). FHS is designed to ensure that all new dwellings will be net zero carbon ready by 2025.

Energy Efficient Homes
Keeping energy efficiency at the forefront of building homes.

What is a net zero carbon ready home?

A net zero carbon ready home is built with high energy efficiency in mind. The Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero by 2050. As part of this process the Government has set a road map for the construction industry to achieve net zero ready homes by 2025.

For the proposed houses in Beaulieu, this would mean using methods such as high-performance insulation, triple glazing, air source heat pumps and solar panels. The end goal is to move away from installing gas boilers that are traditionally used to heat houses and instead utilise other technologies.

Well-insulated homes will retain heat and stay warmer in the first instance so the amount of additional heating needed in the colder months will be less.

Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, describes how the report could help all homes to reduce their environmental impact:

"We must do everything we can to reduce our impact on the environment and cut our energy costs. So we all need to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and transport and buildings produce nearly two thirds of all emissions.

“The City Council commissioned this report to show how, with fairly minor adjustments, houses and flats can dramatically reduce their energy use.

The findings of this report will help position Chelmsford as an early adopter of building net zero ready homes so we are ready for whatever the new regulations will be. The trial in Beaulieu will lead the way for ensuring future building projects within our Local Plan keep highly energy efficient homes at the forefront."

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council

The next steps for building energy efficient homes

The report focuses on how housebuilders can develop zero carbon ready homes at scale and what changes are required to the design and specification of already consented schemes to make this happen more quickly. It confirms that a 75% reduction of carbon above the current standard can be achieved. The report also explores what alternative technologies and building methods can be used to improve energy efficiency, without needing to completely redesign the housing plans that have already have outline planning permission.

A decision on the detailed planning application for the area that will be named ‘Zone T’ is expected before the end of the year, with construction starting in 2023. The 66 homes will comprise of both houses and apartments. Zone T is located in the heart of the site adjacent to a site for a new primary school, which is also set to be zero carbon ready.

"Living in a home that is both energy efficient and has been designed with the environment in mind has never been more critical. We are very proud to be working with Chelmsford City Council and Homes England on such a ground-breaking pilot scheme to identify alternative technologies that can be implemented to achieve highly efficient dwellings at scale, with no impact on planning. Beaulieu is a flagship scheme for Countryside and our JV partner L&Q and we hope that the findings of this report will be used as a benchmark for future schemes across the UK."

Chris Bladon, Managing Director, Eastern Home Counties, Countryside Partnerships

Chelmsford Garden Community

Beaulieu is one of the first new neighbourhoods of Chelmsford Garden Community, alongside the Channels development. Chelmsford Garden Community is part of the City Council’s Local Plan and will create a community of around 10,000 new homes and include new employment opportunities in north-east Chelmsford.

"A net zero carbon approach to development contributes to more resilient and sustainable homes and places. Homes England was pleased to work closely with public and private sector partners in exploring how net zero carbon development can be achieved at scale in Chelmsford Garden Community."

Fionnuala Lennon, Head of Garden Communities, Homes England

Find out more about the net carbon zero homes project in Beaulieu and read the report at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/zero-carbon-report.

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Charlotte Maltby
Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes about the environment, parks, recycling, business, planning, public realm and democratic services.