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Gloucestershire Business News

Cotswold District Council partners with local housing association

Cotswold District Council has entered into a partnership with Bromford housing association to deliver innovative housing schemes in the Cotswolds to provide local people with local affordable homes.

In the first development of the partnership, low-carbon affordable homes will be built on a small plot of land in Down Ampney to provide high-quality homes.

Councillor Joe Harris, leader of the council, said: "Through this partnership with Bromford, we are pushing the boundaries of what can be delivered. However, this won't just be a partnership between us, it will be a partnership with the communities where the homes will be developed.

"We want to take a different approach to working with local communities at the very early stages of design so the developments truly work for the areas they are built in.

"We will be consulting with residents in Down Ampney over the coming weeks so they can have an input into the design of the homes being built there.

"These will be local homes for local people and we are making sure these houses are truly affordable to buy, cheaper to run and cause much less damage to the environment - tackling two of the key issues for the Cotswolds - the lack of affordable homes and responding to the climate emergency.

"We will be using land owned by the council to build these houses and set a much higher standard than what we see from many housing developers. We hope this example will drive higher standards across the Cotswolds by showing what is possible."

The proposed homes at Down Ampney will be built on a site which has stood empty for many years. The development will look to use new technology to reduce the carbon footprint of the homes and their electricity needs, making them more affordable for tenants.

One of the main purposes of the development will be to demonstrate it is possible to build these types of homes within budget, with many developers claiming they are unable to deliver them in a normal development for cost reasons.

The partnership will lead to not only more homes built through the partnership on other plots of council land, but also help drive up standards in other developments across the district and the UK by demonstrating what is achievable.

Emma Flood, partnership manager at Bromford, said: "We are always keen to forge partnerships with organisations and local authorities whose ambition and values align with our own, so we're delighted to be working with Cotswold District Council to bring these new affordable homes to Down Ampney. We're looking forward to showing our plans for the site and discussing them with villagers shortly.

"Using more sustainable building methods is a key focus for us going forward as demonstrated by the appointment of two partners to provide homes using modern methods of construction.

"But we're also keen to explore the use of more sustainable technologies on other developments and hopefully, these new homes at Down Ampney will be the start of a closer working relationship with the council to provide more sustainable, affordable homes to communities across the Cotswolds."

Tom Bell, architect at Ridge & Partners LLP and RIBA Wessex regional chair, said: "The design has closely followed the Cotswold District Council Net Zero Carbon Toolkit, with our multi-discipline approach enabling us to consider a wide range of options to improve the sustainability credentials of the properties and deliver low-carbon homes.

"The partnership between Cotswold District Council and Bromford is commendable, as they are actively delivering much-needed affordable homes across the Cotswolds whilst responding to the recent energy crisis by seeking for these properties to have low running costs for residents".

A public meeting will be held with Down Ampney residents on 10 October at Down Ampney Football Club from 6pm where residents will be able to hear from the council and Bromford on the initial ideas for the development and give their views.

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