A new 195-house eco village has been given the go ahead at a former hospital site near Bristol. The eco houses will be part of the Hanham Hall development being led by building contractors Barrett Developments PLC, where the Grade II listed hospital building will be revamped into a community centre.
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The Eco-Village near Bishops Castle in Shropshire was made famous by its pledges to create a community of 40 houses with energy efficient designs and low carbon running costs, but now residents are up in arms as Living Villages, the company responsible for building the development has gone into administration.
The eco-homes on the estate sport solar panels for heating water, and employ heat recovery systems, where heat is extracted from moist, warm air in the bathrooms and kitchens of the houses and is used to heat fresh air brought in from outside to warm the houses. In addition, homes are built with high levels of insulation, using draught proof doubled glazed windows from Scandinavia, and are positioned facing the sun to take advantage of natural light and heat from the sun.
Although the eco-village has received a lot of positive attention, being nominated for awards and hailed for their green entrepreneurship, The Wintles has also received its share of criticism from people saying that it is merely a playground for the rich. Whether this is true or not, it seems that for the time being, it is the end of the road for the development, where currently half built houses stand glumly waiting for someone to finish building them. Nobody ever said that building sustainably came cheap, but for people who have put down deposits on their dream home to have no sign of recovering their money, the cost is obvious. Let’s hope that somebody can come to the rescue of The Whittles and bring a happy ending to the story of the Bishops Castle eco-village.