Northants ‘UK hotbed’ for sustainable construction

Identified as the largest growth area outside of London by the Government, Northamptonshire is dedicated to building 167,00 new homes by 2021 with new development proposals in locations such as Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Towcester and Northampton, all of which support the use of innovative environmentally-sustainable construction techniques.

One of the most significant innovations in the East Midlands in recent years – the development of the £8million iHub building in Daventry, Northamptonshire – is set to provide a UK centre for national and international research into sustainable construction and green technologies.

With building due to commence in June 2009 and completion ready for occupation in November 2010, the development will create positions in the construction industry and boost the local economy with the provision of with high quality jobs in an emerging market.

Tim Bagshaw, Head of Investment, Northamptonshire Enterprise said: "Northamptonshire is set to host one of the most innovative and dynamic centres for the sustainable construction industry. The iHub building will put Northamptonshire firmly on the map as driving forward sustainable construction technologies and at offering both UK and overseas businesses the opportunity to learn, grow and develop in an emerging industry."

With the objective of promoting best practice in sustainable growth and provide an enduring, distinctive environment, the Upton development in South West Northamptonshire is a unique 3.7 hectare green-field site specifically dedicated for sustainable urban development.

Developed in partnership with English Partnerships and Northampton Borough Council, Upton will provide a complete sustainable community which encompasses approximately 6000 dwellings, a primary school, shops, commercial office and retail units.

To ensure that environmental standards are met, developers are required to adhere to a specific Urban Framework plan and design codes that stipulates features such as housing design, BREEAM ratings, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, Micro-CHP energy conversion units and Photovoltaic Systems to be included in the construction phase.

Meanwhile, with the objective of encouraging the Government to invest in a sustainable infrastructure, Northamptonshire is driving forward environmentally-focused residential developments.

In the form of its adopted Core Spatial Strategy (CSS), North Northamptonshire is in the unique position, regionally and nationally, of being able to provide investors and developers with a clear understanding of the location, scale and quality of development that will be allowed up to 2021.

The plan is a huge step forward for the sustainable development of the sub-region and a bold statement of intent for North Northamptonshire to achieve the housing growth targets identified in the Milton Keynes & South Midlands Regional Strategy while achieving local aspirations for sustainable design and quality.

To ensure progress against these targets continues and quality standards are maintained throughout the economic downturn, a major new public/private initiative is now being discussed by the North Northants Development Company, the Homes and Communities Agency, landowners and developers, under the working title of "Partnership Villages".

By providing different rental and ownership options, the proposals have the potential to deliver 7000 new homes on 12 sites and trigger approximately £1.6billion investment into North Northamptonshire.

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