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Wates wins contract for underground houses

Wates Residential has been chosen as main contractor on a pioneering eco-housing development in East Sussex.

Wates will start work early next year on the Blackfriars in Battle for Rother District Council’s housing company Alliance Homes.

All 200 new homes have been designed to significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, while minimising energy costs for residents.

The site will see the unique use of Earth Sheltered Homes and inclusion of principles taken from Passivhaus – a building standard that is energy efficient, comfortable, affordable, and ecological at the same time.

Councillor Doug Oliver, Leader of Rother District Council, said: “We are delighted to name Wates as the contractor for this ground-breaking, sustainable housing development in Battle. So many people have contributed down the years to getting us to this point where we can now look forward to the start of construction.”

Helen Bunch, Executive Managing Director, Wates Residential, added: “Wates works collaboratively with its customers to find better and more innovative ways to reduce waste, reduce energy consumption and enhance the natural environment, and on this exciting new project with Rother District Council we will be using the latest technologies to push boundaries and achieve a more sustainable future.

“These 200 new homes in Battle will be warm and comfortable places for families to call home, utilising energy efficient technology. Everyone deserves a great place to live, and along the way we will be looking to create a lasting legacy for the people that will live in and around this new unique community.”

One of the major factors stalling the delivery of the site was the need for a new spine road to facilitate development.

In 2018, Rother District Council successfully applied to Homes England, and were allocated grant funding under the HIF programme to deliver the road infrastructure.  Planning permission for the whole development was gained in April this year.