District's new eco-friendly homes being held up as model for other authorities

Eight new council homes are helping drive forward a new era of low carbon and energy-saving housing in North Kesteven and beyond.

Electric car chargers fitted outside the new homes in Potterhanworth as part of the green effort.
Electric car chargers fitted outside the new homes in Potterhanworth as part of the green effort.

The new homes in Windmill Gardens, off Moor Lane in Potterhanworth, have been delivered by the district council and are ready for their first occupants.

They have been built to the Passivhaus standard which means the properties are of the highest energy-efficient standard available in Europe. They are also built to the authority’s own new CO 2 – sy standard for carbon and energy efficiency.

Building began last March, with Lindum Group carrying out construction, working closely with North Kesteven District Council and experts on the international Passivhaus standard.

The biodiversity area at the new Potterhanworth development.

Although more expensive to build, with £1.6 million of North Kesteven District Council investment going into the development, the houses are significantly cheaper to run.

They generally require about 75 per cent less heating than standard builds, because the homes achieve an extremely low level of air loss, which in turn ensures heat is retained inside. The only conventional heating is a heated towel rail.

Leader of the Council, Coun Richard Wright explained: “We’d like to also use these eight new homes as an opportunity to share our experiences and the benefits for people of building in this way.”

He added: “We have already hosted colleagues from another local authority outside of Lincolnshire and development professionals for a tour at Potterhanworth to see and discuss the project.”

The biodiversity area at the new Potterhanworth development.

The homes also have solar panels, to cut energy costs, there is a biodiversity area on site and each house has a butterfly, bird or bug box.

Coun Wright said: “We’re also developing a case study to help showcase it far and wide. We hope the scale of our ambition, across not only our housing developments but more broadly throughout our plans and partnership work, will help lead by example to act now on climate.

He said officers were also trialling retrofit techniques to existing properties to assess cost and effectiveness, as well as carrying out more than 100 solar panel installations.

Lindum Group managing director, Ed Chambers, said: “On this project, 93 per cent of the budget was spent with subcontractors based less than 40 miles from site. Seventy-nine per cent was with businesses based less than 10 miles from site. This meant the investment stays within the local economy.”

Representatives from North Kesteven District Council, Lindum Group and guests gathered on June 16 to plant a tree and officially commemorate the site’s completion.
From left: North Kesteven District Council Deputy Chief Executive Philip Roberts, Deputy Leader Councillor Ian Carrington, Leader Councillor Richard Wright, Director of Resources Russell Stone, Lindum BMS Managing Director Richard Shaw, Lindum Group Managing Director Ed Chambers and Site Manager Richard Charles.
An aerial view of the site.
Biodiversity area at the Potterhanworth development.