Pilot Zero Carbon scheme for Winchester City Council granted planning permission

Date posted: August 20, 2021

A pilot Zero Carbon scheme, designed by ArchitecturePLB for Winchester City Council, has been granted planning permission this week.  The project, predicted to have an annual net zero energy demand by meeting the Passivhaus Plus standards, will create six affordable flats for local residents and help to address the shortage of affordable housing in the village of Micheldever.

WCC declared climate emergency in June 2019 and have since been working to meet ambitious carbon reduction targets. This project will be the council’s first zero carbon and Passivhaus scheme and will act as an exemplar for future developments. Passivhaus is a tried and tested energy standard that seeks year-round thermal comfort – minimal heating in the winter and control of overheating in the summer. Passivhaus Plus goes beyond this to create an overall operational energy balance by providing renewables and fossil fuel free heating. For this scheme, this has led to a proposal which, over a year will generate an excess of energy and therefore have a negative carbon footprint.

The proposals have been designed to echo nearby timber clad dwellings, combined with a traditional Hampshire stock brick for robustness and to help link it to the rest of the village. The frontage has been arranged to resemble a short terrace of houses, akin to those neighbouring the site, with windows sized to ensure good daylighting inside, but without excessive heat loss – a key consideration for low energy design. To the west, each dwelling has a private amenity space in the form of a small garden or generous balcony. The latter will enjoy long views over the adjacent allotments but have also been carefully designed to help residents control overheating and to ensure privacy to the adjacent neighbours.

This scheme is breaking new ground for Winchester City Council in terms of low energy design, and we are delighted that project received a unanimous approval at planning committee this week, providing the village with much needed affordable housing and the district with an exciting exemplar in net zero carbon development. The project is due to start on site in early 2022.