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Plans submitted for a Unique Net Zero Carbon Community in the UK

A planning application has been submitted by Milton Keynes based Planning Consultants, Smith Jenkins, for an exemplar net zero carbon and zero fossil fuel community in Bedfordshire, the largest known of its kind in the UK. The application seeks to create a sustainable new settlement, known as Greenwoods, between Bedford and Luton, which will benefit from an on-site solar PV park and over 100 hectares of landscaped public open space.

The proposals far exceed the requirements of building regulations and planning policies, and will set the standard for other developments in Bedfordshire and beyond. The proposals will establish an important precedent for the new national Future Homes Standard, which seeks to improve upon current regulations to increase the sustainability of new homes in light of the Government’s carbon emissions targets.

A range of new homes will be provided, including later living, affordable housing and opportunities for self-build. The proposals have been designed to create a diverse, inclusive, multi-generational community, and have a focus on healthy lifestyles; low cost and energy efficient homes; and adaptable and home working models

The development will include all of the infrastructure necessary to support the new community including schools, health centre, community centres, road network, drainage and utilities. A new innovation and employment hub will provide opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as spaces for flexible working.

A strong emphasis on sustainability has been at the heart of the proposals since their inception, and new and emerging sustainable technologies continue to be incorporated, guided by London-based sustainability experts, Integration. The application demonstrates how the development will achieve net zero carbon for regulated operational carbon, i.e. offsetting the emissions associated with the operation of buildings. The application also commits to detailed design offsetting emissions associated with the construction of buildings (embodied carbon) and those generated by appliances (unregulated emissions).

The developer, Greenwoods Central Bedfordshire Ltd. has said, “We are delighted to be able to bring forward this unique development in Central Bedfordshire.”

For more information on this exemplar sustainable development, please visit the dedicated Greenwoods website: https://www.greenwoodscentralbedfordshire-info.co.uk/

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