Contractor named for award-winning housing development

Just days after being named as the best in the UK, a housing development in Rother has announced the contractor who will build the housing scheme.

Blackfriars in Battle, an initiative led by Rother District Council’s housing company, Alliance Homes to provide 200 new homes, has named Wates Residential – part of the Wates Group – as the partner contractor to build the development.

The construction project – which includes the provision of 42 affordable rented homes and 28 homes for shared ownership – is due to begin in early 2022.

The contractor announcement is the second major boost for the project in just a matter of days. Earlier this month, Blackfriars was named best housing development in the UK (suburban and rural category) at the Inside Housing Development Awards.

The Inside Housing Award judges were won over by the scheme’s dedication to a sustainable and innovative design whilst ensuring people’s wellbeing is at its heart.

All new homes have been designed to significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, whilst minimising energy costs for residents. The site will see the unique use of Earth Sheltered Homes and inclusion of principles taken from Passivhaus – a building standard that is energy efficient, comfortable, affordable, and ecological at the same time.

And aligned with sustainable objectives, the development has been designed to discourage the use of vehicles and will focus on the wellbeing of the residents.

Attractive green twittens will create connections through the site alongside communal allotment spaces that hope to promote community spirit. Each garden will have vegetable boxes boosting healthy food options, cutting down food bills and promoting fresh produce.

Councillor Doug Oliver, Leader of Rother District Council, said: “We are delighted to name Wates as the contractor for this ground-breaking, sustainable housing development in Battle. So many people have contributed down the years to getting us to this point where we can now look forward to the start of construction.

“And the fact that this news comes hot on the heels of the project being named as the best housing development in the UK by Inside Housing is absolutely fantastic. I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication in gaining this accolade.”

Helen Bunch, Executive Managing Director, Wates Residential, said: “Wates works collaboratively with its customers to find better and more innovative ways to reduce waste, reduce energy consumption and enhance the natural environment, and on this exciting new project with Rother District Council we will be using the latest technologies to push boundaries and achieve a more sustainable future.  

“These 200 new homes in Battle will be warm and comfortable places for families to call home, utilising energy efficient technology. Everyone deserves a great place to live, and along the way we will be looking to create a lasting legacy for the people that will live in and around this new unique community.”  

One of the major factors stalling the delivery of this site was the need for a new spine road to facilitate development. In 2018, Rother District Council successfully applied to Homes England, and were allocated grant funding under the HIF programme to deliver the road infrastructure.  Planning permission for the whole development was gained in April this year. Ends

Published: 16th November 2021