“We believe this development has huge potential as a model for other landowners as part of the UK climate change agenda,” said Roger File, the director of Blenheim Property.
“Our goal is to create long-term, high quality new homes that benefit their surrounding communities and are built in a sustainable and environmentally positive way, which helps to address both the climate change and fuel poverty agendas.”
Family homes in the area sell for £500,000, but Gareth Belsham from building consultancy Naismiths said the Blenheim Estate properties would likely carry a premium.
“Especially in light of energy cost crisis we’re experiencing, it’s definitely the direction of travel for developers,” he said. “It really is an aspirational purchase. There’s definitely more of this sort of stock emerging on the market.”
The 180 homes will be heated using energy supplied by solar panels and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery, which traps and purifies hot air inside the nearly air-tight building.
Research from Knight Frank last year found that the energy efficiency of a home was important to 86 per cent of potential buyers.
‘Pioneering’ green credentials
The UK has some of the leakiest homes in Europe, and the Government has imposed new standards for rented properties from 2025 and wants all homes to be upgraded by 2035.
Mr Belsham said the estate, which is awaiting planning permission, would be “pioneering” in terms of its green credentials and its scale.
He added that co-working spaces were increasingly a feature on new developments since the pandemic, but had so far been mostly limited to spaces in blocks of flats.
“That’s going to be a growing trend because there are a lot more home based workers now,” he said.
More than 40 per cent of those who worked from home during the pandemic say they now have a hybrid working pattern, only going into the office part time, according to Government data.