2 min read
25 Jul 2023

Planning approval granted for 57 affordable homes at Springvale 2, Bilston near Wolverhampton

By Juma Chipeta

City of Wolverhampton Council has granted planning permission for 57 affordable homes on a 0.565 acre site located off Millfields Road in Bilston, Wolverhampton. The scheme, designed by Stephen George + Partners (SGP) for GreenSquareAccord, will comprise three blocks containing a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments, plus car parking, drainage and external works.

With good public transport and cycle links, SGP’s design was able to deliver on Wolverhampton District 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.

Explains Juma Chipeta, Associate at SGP: “We are thrilled to see this high-quality, sustainable development achieve planning permission. 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 address local need and fill out a section of the current urban fabric of the town. We now look forward to it moving swiftly to site.”

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 0.15, 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 Juma: “The site was 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.

Concludes Juma: “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 quality, local housing on relatively small and challenging urban plots. Now that planning has been achieved, we hope the use of modular construction will see the development move forward at pace, providing much-needed new homes for the local community.”

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