Bristol development will be designed, delivered and funded via a unique partnership

29th November 2018

Work is now underway on a rare multi-million-pound housing project in Southmead, Bristol, which involves several delivery partners and is partially designed by local school children.

• ENGIE, HAB Housing, United Communities, Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund and Bristol and Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) to deliver the first housing development of its kind in the UK

• Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud (Chairman of HAB Housing) was joined by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and project partners to launch Elderberry Walk

• Six different tenures available on new homes

Eldberry Walk is being built on the former Dunmail Primary School site and is the first development of its kind in the UK, bringing together a housing association, a community investment company and private sector capital to provide much needed high-quality affordable homes to rent and buy in the city.

The development will provide 161 mixed tenure new homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom houses.  Several home options are available including affordable homes, ethically rented homes, key worker rented properties, rent-to-buy, shared ownership and inclusive homes for older people and those with specialist needs.

Cheyne and BBRC are retaining 61 homes to be used as ethically rented homes, key worker rented properties and a unique rent‐to‐buy offering. United Communities will retain 77 homes that include affordable rented homes, and shared ownership homes. Cheyne will also offer 25 homes for sale.

HAB Housing worked with Stirling Prize winners AHMM architects to produce a design which will create beautiful, sustainable housing with a strong sense of community. The project is being funded and developed by Cheyne Social Property Impact fund and United Communities whilst energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE is the contractor delivering the scheme.

Over the last two years, Bristol young people have been inspired to get involved in all aspects of housing and construction. Kevin McCloud (Chairman of HAB) and Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees launched a series of workshops in local schools, which led to the students from three local schools creating models and designs for the new homes. These architects of the future met Kevin and Marvin at the event to celebrate the start of construction.

Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, joined Kevin McCloud, and representatives from ENGIE, United Communities, Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund, and Bristol and Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) at the official launch of Elderberry Walk this week; which showcased the ideas developed by schools and the local community in a programme designed to encourage aspiring architects.

Kevin McCloud, Chairman of HAB, said:
“As our first project in HAB’s home city of Bristol, we are more eager than ever to bring this great, sustainable, and affordable project to life and support the community. We are so pleased to meet with the young people and inspire a new generation into housing and construction as well as deliver much‐needed housing and help in the wider regeneration of this neighbourhood.”

Michael Mills, Regional Managing Director for ENGIE’s Places & Communities division, said:
“This is a significant partnership for ENGIE, and one that reinforces our growth and commitment to the region. As a market leader in community regeneration, we are well placed to deliver our partners vision in a way that will enhance the lives of local people, by creating vibrant and sustainable communities where people are proud to live.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, commented:
“The start of this development is positive news, not just for Southmead, but for the whole of Bristol. My administration is already working hard to tackle the housing crisis and support career opportunities in schools, and this new sustainable housing scheme will play a vital supporting role. Developed with the support of the nearby schools and the local community, and with the environment at its heart, this new development is also helping to create quality new jobs to boost the local economy.”

Oona Goldsworthy, Chief Executive of United Communities, commented:
“This project is making a real impact on the housing crisis in Bristol and I’m delighted that it is also inspiring our young people to become architects and construction professionals. If we are going to build the number of new homes that we need as a City, then we need to be recruiting the designers and builders of the future now.”

Darren Carter, Investment Manager of the Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund added:
“The Elderberry Walk development has created a new blueprint for the delivery of homes and communities in the UK. 70% of the homes in this top-quality development will be offered at a discount to market and will also include an innovative rent‐to‐buy offering that aims to get young people on the housing ladder within 5 years. This project is further evidence that socially responsible capital working together with housing associations, Councils and the community can accelerate the delivery of attractive, affordable and inclusive homes, helping to tackle the housing challenges in the UK.”

Ed Rowberry, Chief Executive of BBRC, said:
“This development will become a shining example for other cities, councils, and developers to follow. By offering affordable, socially responsible housing in the mix, Elderberry Walk will help to encourage longterm tenancies and stable, ethically responsible rents, which will ultimately empower the local community.”

The first homes will be ready for occupation in 2019 with final completion scheduled for 2020.