Thursday, May 30, 2024

Thurrock councillors visit pioneering housing development in Stanford-le-Hope where homes that guarantee zero energy bills are being delivered

MODULAR house builder ilke Homes was joined by Iceni Projects to host local councillors at the pioneering Hope Green development in Stanford-le-Hope last week where the company, in partnership with Gresham House and Octopus Energy, is delivering the world’s first-ever homes to guarantee zero energy bills.

Councillor Paul Arnold of the Ockendon ward, councillor Sue Shinnick of the South Chafford ward, and councillor Lynn Worrall of the Grays Thurrock ward, were all in attendance during the visit. Julie Rogers, Director of Public Realm at Thurrock Council and Leigh Nicholson, Assistant Director of Planning for Thurrock were also present, alongside Keith Andrews, Strategic Lead for Housing Development at Thurrock Council, and Bruce Chibesa, Senior Housing Development Project Manager at Thurrock Council.

Hope Green is a 15-acre site where ilke Homes, Gresham House and SO Resi are building the UK’s largest zero-carbon housing development. Branded Hope Green, the development will eventually comprise 153 homes once complete in Autumn 2023. 101 of these will be zero-carbon in operation – meaning they will generate their own source of energy, helping to drastically reduce emissions produced by utilities such as electricity and heating. 

All of the homes are being sold as a shared ownership, an affordable home ownership product that enables local people to get a foot on the property ladder. Uptake thus far has proved exceptional demand.  

Thanks to an innovative world-first partnership between renewable energy group Octopus Energy, modular house builder ilke Homes and alternative asset manager Gresham House, the development will also comprise numerous factory-built, semi-detached homes that will guarantee residents zero energy bills.

As part of their visit, councillors and members of Thurrock Council were taken on a tour of the site, during which ilke Homes representatives were on hand to demonstrate how, by integrating low-carbon technologies like air source heat pumps and solar panels, the company can deliver highly energy-efficient homes that keep bills to a minimum.

The visit comes in the face of spiralling energy costs which are plunging millions of families into fuel poverty. ilke Homes hopes to deliver a similarly pioneering development in the nearby vicinity, with an application for 230 homes in East Tilbury currently pending determination with Thurrock’s Local Planning Authority. 

In response to spiralling wholesale gas costs, the UK Government has been forced to cap the unit cost of energy for the next six months – a policy that will cost the taxpayer £60 billion. However despite the cap, households can still expect their bills to be significantly higher than they were a year ago. 

Matt Suggit, South East Development Director at ilke Homes, said:

“Hope Green sets a new benchmark for housing development, so it’s great to show local councillors how we are delivering much-needed, energy-efficient housing in the heart of their constituency. Thurrock has declared a Climate Emergency and therefore innovative solutions to house building are an absolute must if they are to tackle the climate emergency and housing crisis at the same time. There is a pressing need for ilke’s sustainable homes in Thurrock and we would like to delivery more.”

Alistair Wardell, Investment Director at Gresham House, said

“We are delighted to have welcomed the councillors to the pioneering Hope Green development, which sees Gresham House and ilke Homes deliver an entirely affordable scheme of 153 shared ownership homes. Hope Green will deliver over 100 operational net zero carbon homes, as well as the UKs first guaranteed Zero Bills houses in an effort to help limit residents’ annual housing related outgoings in a time of significant cost of living increases.”

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