Plan for an eco-village that may be city 'first'
AN ECO-VILLAGE in which 'energy-efficient home owners might not have utilities bills' has been proposed for Bickleigh.
Public consultation has started for Go Live on Bickleigh Down, designed by CornerstoneZED architects, at a site originally intended for a call centre.
The green space would provide up to 86 homes, consisting of around 64 houses and 22 flats, in 'code 6' which is viewed as the highest and most effective category of eco-housing.
If successful, Go Live would be the first of its kind in Plymouth.
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It would create up to 33 jobs on-site in the assembly of the zero-carbon homes built to the 'highest standards of sustainability', developers said, as well as in restoring the woodland for the local community.
Plans also include spaces for businesses to set-up.
Developers also hope the scheme would be used by city schools for learning about the environment.
Eric Bainbridge who lives in Jump Close, said he was relieved to see that a copse of trees next to the site would be protected.
"It looks fantastic. We're just glad the copse is remaining untouched. It gives us great protection from the wind and we love the trees."
Janina Clarke, from Southway, said: "I think it looks great. It's good to see something positive for a change. Its seems it's not just being built just to make money. I think all new developments should have solar panels on them."
Paul Mitchell from Liskeard said he thought the scheme looked 'fantastic'.
"They look like really great places and with all the green space in the middle it looks like it could make a great community.
"The main consideration is about keeping the costs down," he said.
Architect on the scheme, Taus Larsen, said property prices had not been decided but they were trying to make them as affordable as possible.
In fact, he said, home-owners would most likely have no gas or electricity bills as the buildings would be so energy-efficient. Residents could even sell remaining power back to the grid or use it to power electric vehicles, he said.
Some residents who did not wish to be named had concerns about the extra amount of traffic congestion it would bring to the area and the loss of green space.
Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance said: "This innovative eco-village scheme is not just about quality housing, it's also about growing our green economy with sustainable jobs and attracting more businesses to the city.
"This is exactly the sort of groundbreaking scheme we want to attract to Plymouth. I'd urge people living and working in the area to go to the exhibition, check out the exciting plans and let the developers know what they think."
Tim Byles, chief executive of CornerstoneZED, said: "We are delighted at the prospect of partnering with Plymouth City Council to provide a new style of community living that has sustainability running through its core – environmental, economic and social sustainability."
Around 100 people looked at the proposals at a stand in Tesco's Extra's foyer in Woolwell. An architect and planning consultant will also be at Tesco today from 2pm until 8pm.