Moulsecoomb housing and community hub a stage closer

Plans for a new community hub and more than 200 new council homes in Moulsecoomb have moved a step closer with approval to proceed to planning application agreed at housing committee on 17 November.

The plans are to develop a new community building and the new homes on land currently used by the Moulsecoomb north and south hubs and the 67 Centre and the surrounding area.

The aim is for the new community building to improve the services and facilities available for residents of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean.

The final designs have been shaped by residents’ views following a series of ‘planning for real’ sessions held in early 2020.

Changes to the proposals included moving the community hub building into the heart of the wider development and including a ‘street plaza’ area for skateboarding.

The height of one of the housing blocks has also been reduced. This brings the total number of new council homes proposed to 211, a mix of one, two, three and four bed properties.

The detail and costs are still being worked on, with the aim of submitting a planning application early next year.

There’s a commitment to set rents as low as possible, in line with project feasibility and funding bids to the Homes England Affordable Homes Programme.

You can see details of how the proposals are developing, along with the next stages, on our Moulsecoomb housing and community hub webpages.

Talking to the community

We’ve been discussing the proposals with local residents and community groups as they’ve developed over the last few years.

More than 200 residents attended the planning for real sessions and gave constructive and positive feedback on what they’d like to see and any potential concerns.

Views given included the facilities and activities residents would like to see in the hub, the type of housing, transport and the public realm.

Services and facilities that could be located in the hub include a GP Surgery, Moulsecoomb Library, adult learning and a community café.

Proposals also include new centre for youth services within the hub, with a separate entrance.

Sustainable homes

Our architect’s team is working with a consultant to carry out a whole life carbon assessment to measure the carbon emissions created by the development and estimate the total carbon emissions the scheme will create over its lifetime.

Carrying out this assessment allows us to take steps to reduce carbon emissions through design, in construction, when the buildings are in use, all the way through to the end of their lifespan.

The new homes will be highly insulated and heated by ground source heat pumps.

The development will also incorporate circular economy principles to reduce use of new materials and create less waste.

Examples include reusing materials from the existing buildings on site in the new scheme and designing the buildings so more of the materials can be reused at the end of their lifespan.

The work will ensure an ambitious but feasible low carbon scheme is presented at the planning application stage, in line with the city’s wider carbon reduction ambitions.

High quality homes and community space

Councillor David Gibson, co-chair of the Housing Committee, said: “It’s really exciting to see this ambitious project moving forward.

“As well as improving services and facilities for local residents, it will be the largest development of much-needed new council homes for a generation. 

“It’s a huge step towards our priority of increasing the supply of low-cost housing in the city. 

“The ‘whole life carbon assessment’ is at the heart of the design process and will ensure aiming for minimal carbon impact both through the build and a high level of energy efficiency in the homes.

“It’s a complex scheme and there’s a lot of work still to be done. I’m looking forward to seeing these under-used sites transformed into a new high quality community space and high quality homes.”

Councillor Gill Williams, the opposition lead for housing, said: “Providing much needed new council housing is our shared priority. 

“It’s great to see the proposals for these vital new homes and the improved community facilities moving forward.”

Next stages

We’re aiming to get the initial planning applications submitted in early 2022, with work due to begin on site in autumn 2022.

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