PLANS have been unveiled for a development of more than 200 affordable eco-homes in Bridport.
Smarter Community Projects UK is holding a public exhibition to share its plans for ‘Watton Village’, described as a “pioneering new housing project” that will help alleviate Dorset’s housing crisis.
The public exhibition is a key opportunity for local residents to see the plans and express their views on this environmentally-friendly ‘smart community’.
The exhibition will open at Bridport Town Hall on Friday, February 14 at 7pm, with a welcome address from local supporter and former Bridport mayor Ros Kayes, followed by a question and answer session with the projects directors.
The event will also be open on Saturday, February 15 from 10am to 4pm, with a chance to meet architect Jonathan Lovett and landscape specialist Aileen Shackell, both of whom will be taking questions from the public, at 10.30am.
Tackling the housing crisis
More than one million families are currently on waiting lists for social housing in England and 426 households are stuck on Bridport Housing Register.
Nationally, only 290,000 homes were made available last year, leaving a shortfall of 800,000
Smart Community Projects Ltd aims to solve the housing crisis by building this £50million prototype eco-village of more than 200 homes, of which 82 per cent will be affordable rentals.
Every home will have its own built-in PV panels, water conservation system and heat recovery, transforming its carbon footprint. The development is expected to generate almost double the power it needs and the surplus will be stored in lithium batteries to be sold to the grid at times of peak demand.
Energy costs for every resident will be far lower than standard homes, enabling low income families to have more disposable income.
The village is the first step in a goal to revolutionise the way housing is built and made affordable for the many people who suffer from high costs and poor rental accommodation.
This new and innovative model has the support of Dorset Council and many politicians, including former West Dorset MP Sir Oliver Letwin, who said: “I believe that, if this succeeds, it may provide a model that can be replicated elsewhere, to the advantage of the country as a whole.”
Project director Vince Adams commented: “This is a community inspired development created by a not-for-profit team who above all want it to benefit the people of Bridport, the planet we all live on and inspire the nation to tackle the injustice of not being able to five affordably.”
Project director and architect Jonathan Lovett added: “Watton Village will be a fine place to live with well-made, highly insulated, passive homes in a beautifully landscaped setting on the edge of the town of Bridport.
“It will be a beacon to illustrate the aspirations and ambitions of local community and a truly pioneering contribution to housing opportunities nationally.”
Local resident and project director Roy Mathisen said: “It is critical for the prosperity of the local community that the house crisis in Bridport is addressed and it is the mission of this project to do that in an sustainable and environmentally friendly way.”