“ABSOLUTELY delighted!” – that’s the verdict of council leader Bill Hartnett after Redditch walked off with the UK Housing Award for the Outstanding Development of the Year award.
“It’s such a prestigious award – the judges praised on the style, how eco-friendly the development is and the extent of tenant involvement,” said Councillor Hartnett.
The development in question is an £8 million scheme for 79 homes at the Marlfield Farm site in Church Hill, now Wharrad Close and Albert House, named after former council leader Albert Wharrad who died some five years ago.
Built by the Accord Group for Redditch Co-operative Homes, the award was presented by popular radio and television personality Sandi Toksvig at a glittering ceremony in London.
The environmentally friendly scheme is the largest closed panel low carbon timber frame housing scheme in the UK and features two-eco homes.
It was completed in December 2013 and has been built with the community and its residents at its heart, with a number of large, open communal spaces for recreation and communal activities, including a village green, siting areas and an allotment area.
The development is also managed by a housing co-operative, empowering the residents and enabling them to manage their own homes and create a cohesive community.
“This development should be a model for the rest of the country – not only is it stylish but it cuts fuel poverty too as it uses 50 per cent less energy than a traditional brick-built home,” said Coun Harnett.
The UK Housing Awards recognise outstanding work by housing organisations to improve the lives of people in their communities.