Plans for 50 eco-friendly homes in Kent approved by local council

15th July, 2021

Dover District Council has approved Etopia Homes' plans to deliver 50 eco-friendly homes on a site in Eastry, Kent.

The scheme, which will sit on Gore Lane, is set to deliver 35 private sale homes and 15 affordable homes, comprising a mix of two, three and four-bedrooms.

Called Greensands, the 6.35-acre development will be one of the UK's most energy-efficient, helping Dover District Council, who declared a climate energy in January 2020, to meet carbon reduction targets while delivering much-needed housing.

All of the homes being delivered will achieve an Energy Performance Certificate Rating (EPC) rating well-above the highest category of 'A'. In the UK, only one percent of new builds are 'A' rated, while the average rating is 'D'.

Etopia Homes, one of five companies which sits within the Reuben Brothers-backed Etopia Group, achieve this by using low-carbon technologies, sustainable building methods and materials, and smart devices that collect real time data on a home's energy performance.

Before arriving on site, the homes will be manufactured at Etopia Homes' Cheshire factory, which is capable of delivering 2,000 factory-built homes a year using the company's 'hyper structurally insulated' panelised system. Once complete, the panels will be shipped to Eastry and installed to form a home's 'superstructure' – a process that takes as little as three days.

As part of the plans, Etopia Homes will be acting as a 'turnkey' developer – by which it has secured the land and gained planning and will now go on to develop the site and install the pre-manufactured homes. This will enable the developer to ensure that tight construction programmes can be kept to and that stringent quality checks are consistent throughout the development process.

Other key features of the homes include:

  • Integrated low-carbon technologies – such as air source heat pumps and solar panels – which provide clean and cheap energy for residents
  • Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MHVR) system that is fitted with a filter that can remove 80-90 percent of certain allergens, as well as pollution. The technology enables Etopia to build homes in any location, such as along a busy city centre A road, while ensuring that residents will not be affected by higher local pollution levels
  • As an addition, sensor technology that helps optimise a home's energy use and regulate humidity levels. For example, if more people are in a home than usual, and therefore creating more heat and humidity, the technology will alert the homeowner enabling them to adjust the settings to ensure that energy is not being wasted

All of the homes will meet and exceed soon-to-be introduced regulations – which require all new-build homes to be net-zero ready by 2025 -meaning consumers will not be faced with huge retrofit costs later down the line. 

Work on site is due to start later this month, with the first homes being completed by the end of the year.

James Pikett, development director at Etopia Homes, said:

"This site represents our biggest scheme to date, demonstrating the rapid growth trajectory we've been on over the last few years as a company. Our ambition, via developments such as this, is to scale up the delivery of eco-friendly developments that prioritise placemaking and beauty. Thanks to our patented technology, we can ensure we're able to consistently deliver on this quickly and efficiently."

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