Cheltenham is set to benefit from 22 new, zero-carbon homes in Leckhampton, after being approved by the planning committee on 20 January 2022.

The Kidnappers Lane development will include nine affordable houses, with the remaining 13 being on the open market, in line with the section 106 agreement negotiated by the council’s planning team.

None of the homes will be connected to the gas grid; instead, they will all achieve zero-carbon operation through a combination of insulation, air-source heat pumps and photovoltaic cells. This will also contribute renewable electricity to the grid offsetting any grid carbon that has to be used from the electricity network.

Cllr Garth Barnes, chair of the council’s planning committee, said: “We believe this is Gloucestershire’s first zero-carbon housing estate by a commercial developer to be approved by our planning committee. It maps out an important part of our pathway to becoming net-zero by 2030 and sets an important example for all other developers.’’

Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member responsible for planning, said: “This is a revolutionary moment. We cannot tackle the climate crisis unless all new homes are zero carbon. But current government regulations make it very hard to enforce this for now. So real credit should go to our planning team and to Newland Homes for bringing this plan forward. I’m immensely proud that Cheltenham – and Leckhampton – are showing the country that zero-carbon commercial housing can be done, it’s viable and it’s starting here.”

Craig Cobham, project manager for Newland Homes, said: “Our proposals for Kidnappers Lane are not only years ahead of Government targets to be zero carbon by 2050, but they even exceed the base level for being called a zero-carbon home. This goes far beyond the obligations required by the outline planning consent, building regulations or indeed what other property developers are currently providing in the local area. 

These new homes will create as much prime energy as they need at no cost to the homeowner, thanks to the use of renewable technologies and high levels of insulation. Newland Homes was the first traditional house builder in the UK to sign up to the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now pledge, which demonstrates our steadfast commitment to sustainability and the benefits this can have for all. 

Due to the collective efforts and working closely with the council, we are able to deliver this ground-breaking development in Cheltenham, and we look forward to furthering this relationship and our connection to the local area.”

The development was originally given permission for 25 homes at the outline stage, however, only 22 homes were proposed by Newland Homes as they felt the reduced numbers were more appropriate for this site.

The full planning application can be viewed online under agenda item 5a, application 21/00847/REM.

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