Massive eco-homes blueprint for Barnstaple

Plans for up to 300 homes and ‘innovation park’ submitted to council.

MAJOR plans for one of the largest ‘Passivhaus’ developments in Europe have been drawn up for the outskirts of Barnstaple.

A blueprint for between 250 and 300 German-engineered eco-friendly homes on a 12-hectare site between the A361 North Devon Link Road and the Portmore Golf Course has been submitted to North Devon Council planners.

The �280million project, known as Mount Sandford Green, also features space for an ‘innovation park’ with the potential to accommodate offices, start-up business units, manufacturing space; a tourist information point; conference facilities; lecture theatre; hotel; health and fitness club; and food establishments.

It has been developed over the last five years in collaboration with Loosemore Chartered Building Company and Woodward Smith Architects.

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The developers claim the innovation park will ‘drive up local wage and skill levels’, creating 800 jobs, as well as a further 750 during the construction phase.

The building of the Passivhaus dwellings would create 400 direct and 125 indirect local jobs.

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They say the development would generate around �2.4million in New Homes Bonuses for the council during a six-year period.

A design and access statement submitted with the outline plans said the aim was to create ‘an iconic Passivhaus accredited, high quality, innovation park incorporating employment space, leisure/tourism facilities and residential development’.

It said: “The vision started with the erection of a prototype house which was displayed at Interbuild 2008 at the NEC in Birmingham. This prototype house was dismantled and re-erected at Petroc College, and has been used as an education tool for construction students since.

“The development seeks to work in collaboration with Petroc in promoting higher education in Barnstaple and Northern Devon.

“Mount Sandford Green Innovation Park creates a high quality built setting where the natural environment works hand in hand with the latest in renewable technology.

“The underlining values of Mount Sandford Green strive to conserve and enhance the natural environment and help reduce pollution as the project will support the transition to a low carbon future.

“The proposal consists of a new dedicated access off the A361 leading to a new enterprise focused gateway statement for Barnstaple and Northern Devon.

“This high quality proposal, will kick start the economic growth in North Devon and form a ‘gateway statement’ that would embrace the qualities and priorities outlined in the new National Planning Policy Framework.”

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