City’s plans for UK’s largest zero carbon development take a step forward

Images: Mikhail Riches / DarcStudio

At the turn of the 20th Century York was at the fore of pioneering new housing thanks Joseph Rowntree’s ambition for better homes for working people. Now the city is once aiming to lead the charge of the future of housing, with the City of York Council submitting a planning applications for its first generation of zero-carbon, “exceptional yet affordable homes”.

The plans, designed by Stirling Prize-winning architect Mikhail Riches will see Burnholme and Duncombe Barracks, two of eight sites on the council’s Housing Delivery Programme which is its largest housing programme for a generation and looks to create 600 ambitious and aspirational homes over five years.

Artists impression of the proposed scheme

With the aim of developing a sense of community, the designer feature a variety of high quality public outdoor spaces provided within green and healthy neighbourhoods. Creating opportunities for residents to spend time together safely within low-car development, parking is to be located on the fringes of the development, and where active travel is promoted. The site also looks to provide access to generous private outdoor space for future residents.

The council and architects are also being looking to make the interiors of the properties flexible and adaptable, to enable people to live and work long-term in these new communities regardless of their circumstances.

The site which plans to arrange the homes to take maximum advantage of sunshine, with the roofs covered with solar panels to reduce the fuel costs of residents will see 40% of the new homes made available for social rent or shared ownership – with the council highlighting that is “more than double the number required by planning guidelines”.

Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said:” I want to thank all the residents who have worked with us, our architects and partners, to co-design these plans. Submitting them hopefully, will bring these exceptional homes another step closer.

“The homes are carefully designed to help improve residents’ lives by meeting net zero carbon standards, supporting the city’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030 while also helping us tackle fuel poverty.”

David Mikhail, founder director of Mikhail Riches, said: “The Duncombe Barracks and Burnhome planning applications have been lodged, and we are thrilled with them. We have worked with many local authorities around the UK, and City of York Council’s approach has been exemplary.

“Their team have worked incredibly hard to understand the changing needs of local people, across various age groups and social situations. We believe their work will help ensure that these beautiful, cheap to run and comfortable homes are truly useful, that they reflect local need and become loved too, by the communities around them.”