Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, TV presenter, writer, and Chairman of HAB Housing, Kevin McCloud, and representatives from United Communities, Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund, and Bristol and Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) attended the opening of the Elderberry Walk housing project in Southmead. The event was a showcase of ideas developed by schools and the local community in a programme designed to encourage aspiring architects.
Over the last 2 years, Bristol young people have been inspired to get involved in all aspects of housing and construction. Kevin McCloud and Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees launched a series of workshops in local schools, which led to the students at 3 local schools to creating models and designs for the new homes on Elderberry Walk.
These architects of the future met with Kevin and Marvin at the event to mark the start of the development, which will provide 161 new homes ranging from 1 bed room apartments to 4 bedroom houses. Kevin is the chairman of HAB who have worked with United Communities, BBRC, Cheyne, to create a unique, inclusive and mixed tenure housing scheme.
Sam Pinson (aged 14) a pupil at Henbury School was so excited about this project that she spent hours making her model for the site and has been part of the wider consultation for the development. The schools and the wider community were all involved in the planning work for the site which supported United Communities to win a prestigious National Housing Award last month.
The housing development is the first of its kind in the UK, bringing together a housing association, a community investment company and private sector capital to provide much needed high quality affordable homes to rent and buy.
Cheyne and BBRC are retaining 61 homes to be used as ethically rented homes, key worker rented properties and a unique rent‐to‐buy offering. United Communities will retain 77 homes that include affordable rented homes, and shared ownership homes. Cheyne will also offer 25 homes for sale.
HAB Housing worked with Stirling Prize winners AHMM architects to produce a design which will create beautiful, sustainable housing with a strong sense of community. The project is being funded and developed by Cheyne Social Property Impact fund and United Communities whilst Engie Regeneration are the main contractor for the scheme.
Kevin McCloud, Chairman of HAB, said:
“As our first project in HAB’s home city of Bristol, we are more eager than ever to bring this great, sustainable, and affordable project to life and support the community. We are so pleased to meet with the young people and inspire a new generation into housing and construction as well as deliver much‐needed housing and help in the wider regeneration of this neighbourhood.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, commented:
“The start of this development is positive news, not just for Southmead, but for the whole of Bristol. My administration is already working hard to tackle the housing crisis and support career opportunities in schools, and this new sustainable housing scheme will play a vital supporting role. Developed with the support of the nearby schools and the local community, and with the environment at its heart, this new
development is also helping to create quality new jobs to boost the local economy.”
Oona Goldsworthy, Chief Executive of United Communities, commented:
“This project is making a real impact on the housing crisis in Bristol and I’m delighted that it is also inspiring our young people to become architects and construction professionals. If we are going to build the number of new homes that we need as a City, then we need to be recruiting the designers and builders of the future now.”
Darren Carter, Investment Manager of the Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund added:
“The Elderberry Walk development has created a new blueprint for the delivery of homes and communities in the UK. 70% of the homes in this top quality development will be offered at a discount to market and will also include an innovative rent‐to‐buy offering that aims to get young people on the housing ladder within 5 years. This project is further evidence that socially responsible capital working together with housing associations, Councils and the community can accelerate the delivery of attractive, affordable and inclusive homes, helping to tackle the housing challenges in the UK.”
Ed Rowberry, Chief Executive of BBRC, said:
“This development will become a shining example for other cities, councils, and developers to follow. By offering affordable, socially responsible housing in the mix, Elderberry Walk will help to encourage longterm tenancies and stable, ethically responsible rents, which will ultimately empower the local community.