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SGP submits plans for 57 affordable homes at Springvale 2, Bilston near Wolverhampton


9th August 2022

Stephen George + Partners (SGP) has submitted plans for 57 affordable homes on a 0.565 acre site located off Millfields Road in Bilston, near Wolverhampton, on behalf of its client GreenSquareAccord. Plans for the three blocks containing a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments, plus car parking, drainage and external works were submitted to Wolverhampton District Council.

Explains Kumar Muniandy, Studio Director at SGP: “The Wolverhampton District Council planning team were very keen for us to design a high quality, sustainable development to meet local needs. We were able to take advantage of the site’s proximity to schools, healthcare, retail and leisure, as well as good public transport links, to create plans for a sustainable community of 100% affordable rental homes that filled out a section of the current urban fabric of the town.”

Michael Nolan, Head of Development at GreenSquareAccord added “We are delighted to be bringing forward the next phase of development in the locality to provide high quality accommodation for local residents. With ongoing support from Homes England and the City of Wolverhampton we are looking forward to staring on site later this year”.

The designs use a modular timber frame construction to be supplied by LoCal Homes and manufactured off-site at the LoCal Homes factory in Walsall. Using the ‘Fabric First’ philosophy, the modular approach will deliver reduced embodied carbon, improve thermal performance and air tightness. The design aims for a minimum U value of 0.18, complying with new Part L regulations and helping tenants save money on their heating bills. Environmentally friendly materials are used throughout, most particularly timber as an inherently sustainable resource.

A simple material palette settles the new build gently into its surroundings, whilst a technologically advanced panelised cladding system creates the impression of a light rustic brickwork exterior, complete with contrast banding and detailing to break up the form.

Continues Kumar: “The site is challenging in many ways, and we used our experience of similar projects to deliver the number of units needed whilst avoiding the existing mine shafts and the possibility of overlooking adjacent buildings. Our layout makes best use of visual links outward to the surrounding area, especially across the cricket pitch and bowling greens, as well as adding physical links to the neighbourhood and town amenities.”

The development will be set within a simple but inviting landscaping that includes lawns, new hedges and native trees with specimen planting and meadow seeding to increase biodiversity and enhance the pedestrian pathways through and across the site.

With good public transport and cycle links, SGP’s design was able to deliver on Wolverhampton Council’s aims to improve sustainability and reduce noise and air pollution by developing a strong sustainable transport ethos on site, particularly installing EV charging points to support the move to electric cars.

Concludes Kumar: “This is one of the latest modular construction projects in SGP’s residential portfolio and another great example of how careful planning and design can add much needed, quality, local housing on relatively small and challenging urban plots. Once planning has been achieved, we hope the development will move forward swiftly and start on site towards the end of the year. We know this is a tight schedule, especially with issues around supply and skills shortages, but by using modular construction, we feel it’s achievable.”