Green light for ‘zero carbon’ village

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Artist's impression of the village. (Picture by Neath Port Talbot Council).

PLANS for a new housing estate with 35 carbon neutral homes in Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley in Wales have been approved by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Planning Committee.

Zero carbon housebuilder Sero Homes aims to build the properties on land at Rhydyfro which has been allocated for housing in Neath Port Talbot’s Local Development Plan.

The scheme, known as Parc Hadau, has been designed by Loyn & Co, a Penarth-based architect practice which has designed luxury homes in other parts of Wales.

The zero carbon homes will use low energy building design, as well as incorporating a mix of renewable energy such as solar.

There will also be energy storage so residents can use the generated energy as needed.

A heat pump system will also capture thermal energy from the ground to be used mainly for space heating and water heating in the homes, with any unused electricity being fed back into the National Grid.

The scheme, approved by members of the Council’s Planning Committee on 17 December, will also promote active travel and each home will be equipped for electric vehicle charging.

According to the Local Development Plan ‘the southern portion of the site meets the criteria to be designated a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC), on-site mitigation or off-site compensation will be required; areas of Ancient Woodland (with appropriate buffer) to the site periphery will also need to be excluded from the developable area.’

The 35 homes proposed on the site will be set around a one-way private access with pedestrian priority, with a communal building located at the south eastern side of the access route.

Frontages will face onto this access route with the rear of the dwellings facing a communal open space.

Cllr Annette Wingrave, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development, said: “This development will not only improve our housing offer, it is also very much in line with the Council’s draft Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy Strategy.”