House sales boosted in North Solihull by sustainable credentials

(4th June 2008)

A commitment to create some of the region's 'greenest' homes is attracting potential homebuyers from across the Midlands to North Solihull, according to the North Solihull Partnership.

Bellway Homes, one of the four companies working together to deliver the £1.8billion regeneration scheme has enjoyed ongoing sales success at its developments across the North Solihull regeneration area. Regional Director Ben Wright believes that one of the major factors is the eco-friendly design of the new properties.

He said: "Climate change is probably the biggest single issue facing us all and as such has gone right to the top of the political agenda, which has led to a raft of new guidelines and initiatives such as the Government's Code for Sustainable Homes.

"These guidelines have established a minimum standard of how 'green' a new home needs to be, but what we have found is that home buyers are looking for new properties that don't just meet these minimum standards but far exceed them and that is what we have tried to do in North Solihull. Rising energy costs are actually making people ask how efficient homes are these days."

The other partners that make up the North Solihull Partnership alongside Bellway includes Solihull Council, registered social landlord Whitefriars Housing Group and regeneration specialists Inpartnership. Between them they are overseeing the 15 year regeneration of Chelmsley Wood, Kingshurst & Fordbridge and Smith's Wood in North Solihull.

The regeneration scheme will see the construction of 8,000 new homes, the improvement of 12,500 more, the replacement of 10 primary schools and the creation of five new village centres with improved retail, commercial and community facilities. The scheme is being delivered through the recycling of land assets and profits made by the development of new residential schemes.

In the first two years of the regeneration scheme, Bellway has either completed or is currently constructing around 300 new properties in North Solihull, the first in the area for a generation, with a further 100 currently going through the planning process.

One of the current developments is Burton's Farm Park in Smith's Wood, which is representative of other Bellway schemes across the area, with sales being accrued from both local residents and those looking to move into the area. Ben Wright said a resounding number of buyers had chosen to move to one of the new developments in North Solihull because of the savings that can be made on running costs by living in an energy efficient home.

He said: "First and foremost every one of our new properties is highly energy efficient with the latest in insulation technology. The reduction this makes in energy bills is quite staggering – it can be up to 50 per cent less than the equivalent energy consumption in a period property of the same size.

"The new homes in North Solihull are also built with a significant focus on ensuring the lowest possible carbon footprint. This means taking care at every stage of construction. It means knowing where our materials come from and wherever possible sourcing them locally so as to reduce the amount of transporting involved.

"However, it is not just where the materials are sourced but how they are made and again we are very focused on ensuring our suppliers use the greenest methods of manufacturing. As a company we are also committed to utilising as much of the local workforce as possible.

"The benefits of this are two fold. Firstly the whole ethos of this regeneration project is about creating a truly sustainable community and by employing local workers, we are immediately helping to inject money into the local economy.

"Secondly, and equally importantly, we are cutting down thousands of hours of travelling for our workforce and reducing the carbon footprint that creates over the life-cycle of this project by employing a workforce that lives within easy reach of the development sites.

"Sustainability is a huge issue and one that is becoming increasingly important to the consumer, as is being reflected in our sales, which are well above the current market trend. However, that is not to say that further improvements to our eco credentials couldn't be made, so we will continue to strive to ensure our properties are the greenest on the market."

The North Solihull Partnership reports that money from the sale of land for development is recycled back into the Partnership and helps fund other initiatives taking place in the area, such as the improvement of green space and the creation of new primary schools and village centres.

Homes at Burton's Farm Park in Smith's Wood are priced from £131,250 though Bellway's 'opening doors' incentive. The Burton's Farm Park sales office is open daily between 10am – 5pm, located off Tamar Drive in Smith's Wood, North Solihull. The sales negotiator, Julie Gallagher can be contacted on 0121 747 9082.

Chapel Walk, located in Fordbridge has a selection of three and four-bedroom homes still available to purchase, priced from £163,995.  The on-site marketing suite and show home, located off Chapelhouse Road, is open daily from 10am-5pm.  For more information please contact the Chapel Walk sales team on 0121 788 1709.

In Chelmsley Wood at the recently launched Keepers Gate, prices for apartments start from £108,000, contact 07768 792 482 for further details.