Approval given for landmark Southmead housing development

United Communities and HAB Housing have been given approval for landmark Southmead housing development

We are really pleased to be able to announce that planning has been approved for the building of 161 homes in Southmead, Bristol. Bristol City Council’s planning department has given the Elderberry Walk scheme on the site of the former Dunmail primary School the go-ahead after plans were submitted in September last year.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, commented:

“This is a fantastic project and an exciting time to develop sustainable homes in Bristol. We’re working hard to make sure more homes are built to meet Bristol’s needs, and this project is an excellent example. It brings together a rich mix of good quality housing, creating local jobs and building in an environmentally conscious way. I’m sure it will benefit the entire area wider city.”

Dunmail Consultation May 16 042The development will transform the site, currently owned by Bristol City Council, into an attractive mixed tenure residential location with green spaces and community areas. The buildings have been carefully designed following extensive consultation with local residents, with an energy efficient and sustainable approach.

Kevin McCloud, Chairman of HAB, said:

“We’re simply delighted to start our first project in our home city of Bristol; HAB Housing has been keen to deliver here ever since we moved into our Studio in the city a few years ago. Urban regeneration can be beautiful, sustainable and affordable. And we are eager to crack on, and begin to shape a beautiful new quarter of Southmead.”

The new homes will be a combination of one and two-bedroom apartments, and two, three and four-bed houses. Almost a third of the homes will be affordable housing manage by United Communities – for both social rent and shared ownership. A percentage of all properties available on the site will be allocated, giving priority to applicants that live, work or have a connection to the local area. More information regarding the allocation process will be available when the project nears completion.

Oona & KevinOona Goldsworthy, Chief Executive of United Communities commented:

“Now building on this site in Southmead is near to beginning, we are looking forward to working with the community to make a real impact on the area. Our new homes will benefit those facing a housing crisis in the city, and the sustainable build means that lower living costs for our new tenants too.”

Construction is expected to begin later this year, with first homes available for occupation in late 2018 and final completion in 2020.

We want to say a huge thank you to the Southmead community who have been so instrumental in getting this project off the ground.

Visit our dedicated website page to follow our journey

About HAB

HAB stands for Happiness Architecture Beauty. The company was set up by Kevin McCloud in 2007 to challenge the way identikit volume housing was built in the UK. The homes and places they build aim to respect the local context and biodiversity; are strongly rooted in history, landscape and the community; and are sustainable, beautiful and a pleasure to live in. HAB is recognised as a leader in sustainable development, favouring a fabric-first approach to environmental construction with a focus on biodiversity, edible landscapes and sustainable drainage. They use materials and products which have low environmental impact and they also need to be affordable, durable, readily available and easy to maintain.


We are members of Placeshapers;  a national network of more than 100 community based housing associations. More than 25% of people who live in a housing association home in England live in one our homes and our services are used by more than two million people.

We explore all opportunities to contribute new homes of all tenures, particularly where these contribute to wider community regeneration. Facilitate joint ventures or collaboration on new supply at a regional level where this may be beneficial.

We Build shows that:

PlaceShapers will complete 88,000 new homes in the next five years. This is a 12% overall increase on existing housing stock and 35% of homes predicted to be built by the housing association sector by 2022.

Over a 10-year period, PlaceShapers are ramping up to deliver an additional 152,000 new homes by 2027, almost doubling our recent output.

PlaceShapers members have built over 52,000 new homes in the last six years with at least 11,400 in the past year alone.

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