Stewart Fergusson (SF) - Chair
Ayaz Maqsood (AM) – Advisor
Clive Benfield (CB)
John Payne (JP)
Sarah Perry (SP)
Alan Quinlan (AQ)
Mark Andrews (MA)
Denise Shuker (DS)
Kim Fawcett (KF)
Coventry Partnership - Housing Theme Group
19 th August 2010
Orbit Heart of England
Housing Strategy Manager, CCC
Housing Strategy, CCC
City Development – Development Plans, CCC
West Mercia Housing Group
Housing Strategy, CCC
Peter Woodward (PW)
Susan Smith (SS)
Ross Manford (RM)
Chair of Environment Theme Group
Climate Change Team, CCC
Homes and Communities Agency
1. Apologies and Introductions.
Apologies were received from Peter Deeley, Tim Brown, Chris Carrington, Jan Handley and
2. Tour of Housing Developments around the City:
The group met and undertook a short tour of some housing development sites across the north
and north-east of the city.
Salvation Army Direct Access Homelessness Hostel, Harnall Lane West
AM gave some background information:
The existing Salvation Army hostel in Lincoln Street is no longer suitable. A new facility of 80 units
alongside training facilities is planned for the former temporary car park on Harnall Lane West.
£6.67m of public funding has been allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and
Coventry City Council. There has been local opposition to the closure of the temporary car park.
What will happen to the Lincoln Street site?
AM – This will be a future development opportunity
within the Swanswell regeneration area. It is a
gateway site into the city centre, so a landmark
development will be sought.
How was the car park issue resolved?
AM – A study was carried out of the car parking
available in the area, which was found to be
sufficient, especially with the additional provision in
the new car parks that have been developed.
277 Foleshill Road – PassivHaus Retrofit Pilot (Orbit Heart of England)
SF gave some background information:
This is a typical terraced property which is being remodelled and retrofitted to PassivHaus
standards. This is one of a number of pilot schemes in the city to investigate how retrofitting can
educe the energy use and carbon footprint of existing properties. Coventry University is involved
to research both the technical impact of each retrofitting technology, and also to research the
behaviour of the household to see how that impacts on energy use.
The property layout has been redesigned; high levels of internal insulation will be fitted, along with
solar hot water and a heat exchange pump. The research should show which methods have the
greatest impact on energy use, and inform future retrofitting schemes.
What is the cost?
SF – This scheme is approximately £100,000. As this
is a pilot, it will inform how best to retrofit other existing
properties, which technologies have the biggest
impact, what should be the first priority items to
replicate in other properties.
Can the costs be recovered through increased rent?
SF – There is a debate about this at Government level.
At the moment, they cannot be recovered through increased rent, as there is a rent formula to
calculate rents for social housing.
Ribbon Court, 689 Foleshill Road – Intercultural Independent Living for Older People
(Ashram Housing Association)
AM gave some background information before
the group was given a tour of the facility by
members of staff:
Ribbon Court is an Intercultural Independent
Living scheme for older people in Foleshill. Each
resident has their own apartment but there are
also communal rooms, a lounge, restaurant and
facilities that can also be used by the local
community. There are 49 apartments, including 4
that are designed for wheelchair users.
There is an extensive activity programme, hairdressers and wellbeing programme, and GP
surgery visits. The main kitchen has been specially designed to include separate areas for meat
and vegetarian foods, and many of the employees are from the local area. Residents of similar
schemes helped to design the colour scheme etc.
How do people qualify for an apartment here?
Residents have to be over 55 and are referred through Social Services. We cater for people with
a range of care needs. We also provided winter pressure spaces.
Is this a permanent home or transitional?
It is designed to be a permanent home, with each person having their own front door and their
own apartment. The care provided can be increased with time if necessary. A resident would only
have to move if they needed specialist palliative care.
Can you explain the description of the scheme as 'intercultural'?
Foleshill is a diverse community and many different ethnic and cultural groups live side by side.
The idea was to continue this within the scheme. There are a variety of activities which reflect
different cultures, and also the staff members have a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Sampson Close – New Build PassivHaus Development (Orbit Heart of England)
The new development off Sampson Close is under construction and the group went on-site to the
site office. SF gave some background information:
This is the largest development of certified PassivHaus properties so far. Other schemes have
been completed using elements of the passive house concept but have not received official
PassivHaus certification. There will be 18 apartments, three 2-bedroom houses and one 3-
The PassivHaus concept concentrates on very high insulation, air tightness and solar gain to
ensure that the energy requirement to heat the home is very low (15 kwh/m 2 per annum,
compared to 270kwh/m 2 for a typical Victorian terrace). It is estimated that the fuel bills for a twobedroom
apartment will be around £48 per year.
The properties are being constructed using factory assembled closed panel timber frames. All of
the components have been sourced from Germany, as there are no British companies currently
supplying components with high enough specification to meet PassivHaus standards.
The properties are due to complete in March 2011 and will be let through Coventry Homefinder.
One property will be kept empty for six months and used for demonstration and education.
What is the cost of meeting PassivHaus standards?
SF – it is approximately 12% more than the cost of meeting Code Level 3 (Code for Sustainable
Homes), which is the minimum for social housing.
Has it been more of a challenge to build to these specifications?
SF – Yes. There is a higher cost and in the future there is likely to be less government funding.
Apart from the cost, the contractors are not used to the standards required and some of the
What can we do to encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to get involved so that you do not
need to source all your materials in Germany?
SF – we have to work with suppliers and also training facilities so that construction workers have
the skills. Hopefully the number of suppliers will increase as more and more of these projects are
CB – Private developers are reluctant or are unable to meet these extra standards, as the cost is
significantly higher but the purchaser will not pay the additional cost. Regulation will be needed for
private developers to start to meet these standards.
A website has been launched
showing the retrofitting pilots and
the new build schemes that Orbit
are involved in:
NDC Phase 1A1 (BKW and Whitefriars)
The group were met by Lynn Wassell (Project Director for NDC) at the site for Phase 1A1. LW
gave some background information:
Outline planning permission for the NDC redevelopment has been granted, and detailed planning
permission has been granted for Phase 1A. There is a design code for the whole of Phase 1.
Phase 1A1 is on site now and the first homes are due to complete around Christmas. There are a
total of 154 new homes, of which 39 are to be social rented properties.
A sales office for the market housing will open in September. Whitefriars have entered into an
agreement to purchase unsold market properties for intermediate rent if necessary, with funding
from the HCA. The recession has had a great impact on the redevelopment programme and
future phases are uncertain. This causes logistical difficulties moving tenants and clearing sites,
and is difficult for the community who want to see work progressing.
AM – The success of the NDC redevelopment depends on successfully marketing the properties
for sale, in order to create a more mixed tenure community.
LW – the NDC regeneration is holistic regeneration, not just housing, with a new leisure centre
etc. It is important to invest in people, through training and apprenticeships etc.
What will happen with the planned district heating system?
LW – unfortunately the developers are unable to construct a district heating system at the
moment. There are not enough properties in Phase 1A1 to support the size and cost, and at the
moment it is uncertain when further phases will continue. The developers are looking at possible
alternatives such as biomass.
What Code Level will the new houses reach?
LW – Code Level 3.
Liberty Park – Mixed use redevelopment of former 'problem' estate (Wates and Whitefriars)
AM gave some background information:
This is the redevelopment of a former monotenure estate which is now a mixed tenure community
with 'tenure blindness' – you cannot tell which properties are social rent, shared ownership or
owner-occupied. Due to the recession the development had stalled, but with Kickstart funding
from the HCA this was resolved. There are now a number of properties being offered through the
HomeBuy Direct scheme. It is now a popular estate although there is debate about some of the
house types – for example the three-storey town houses. Some people feel these are unsuitable
for family living as the kitchen/dining and living rooms are on different floors.
There were two further sites that we had planned to visit, but unfortunately did not have
enough time. Some background information is given below:
Royce Court, Arundel Road (Orbit Heart of England)
A development of 15 apartments for supported housing. 10 apartments are transitional housing
for people with physical or sensory impairment, to enable them to develop the skills to live
independently. 5 apartments are for people with learning disabilities. This scheme was developed
after adult services commissioners at Coventry City Council identified a need for this type of
supported housing, using funding from the council's Strategic Housing Regeneration Fund.
Williamson Court, Warwick Avenue (Mercian Housing Association)
A development of 52 apartments which was intended to be luxury flats for market sale. Due to the
recession/credit crunch, the developer could not sell on the open market, so the development was
purchased by Mercian Housing Association with funding from the HCA. It is now social housing
for people over 55, with priority for first lets given to households who were downsizing from large
family homes owned by partner housing associations involved in Coventry Homefinder. This then
freed up the larger homes for families on the register.
Date of next meeting:
• 22nd November, 2pm - 4pm
(6 th Floor Conference Room, Spire House, New Union Street, Coventry CV1 2PW)