EVENTING star Harry Meade cut the ribbon on the show home at Orchard Field – Stonewood Partnerships’ flagship sustainable neighbourhood of 88 low energy homes at Siddington in Gloucestershire.
The acclaimed rider and Stonewood ambassador, who has competed at 12 Badminton International Horse Trials, told invited guests, staff and contractors how proud he was to be invited to open the home – a three-bedroomed Pippin – and how impressed he was with the sustainable credentials within the show home, which is now open for appointments.
He said: “It’s brilliant to be here and it’s wonderful to see the future of how more and more people are going to live. Hopefully this is the start of a big journey for Stonewood and congratulations to everyone involved.”
Stonewood Partnerships Managing Director Sam Smart spoke of his pride in the quality of the homes, which have been designed to be as low energy as possible without compromising the high standards of finish and craftmanship the company has produced in its other award-winning developments.
“It’s quite a significant year for us with it being our 50th birthday and it’s really nice to take a moment and stop to give thanks to everybody involved in getting to this stage of the project,” he said.
“Stonewood’s growth is rooted in core values which were established back in 1972 – quality, craftmanship and innovation. We strive to create beautiful buildings that stand the test of time and we are seeing that here at Orchard Field.
“Designing these new buildings to the highest possible environmental standards is a challenge that we have embraced and we look forward to building many more in the region. Setting new standards in housebuilding is what we strive for and we want to keep pushing the boundaries of sustainability and build quality.”
Families have already moved into the first two of the 88 two, three, four and five bedroom homes on the 11 acre development, which is bordered by trees, parkland, fruit orchards and allotments on a 35 acre site on the edge of the village.
Each Cotswold stone or red brick home, designed by sister company Stonewood Design in conjunction with ecological consultant Greenguage, will have solar panels embedded into the roof, timber frames, 45cm thick walls filled with eco-friendly insulation, triple glazing and airtight interiors to eliminate draughts and allow the energy-efficient heating system to cut bills by up to 70 per cent compared to standard -new-built houses.
Ground-floor underfloor heating fuelled by an air source heat pump and the use of mechanical ventilation heat recovery, which removes warm air from the kitchen and bathroom and uses it to heat air flowing into the living room and bedrooms, will keep the homes warm in winter and cool in summer.
Every one of the 11 contemporary Cotswold styles of home in the community has been designed to meet stringent Association for Environment Conscious Building standards that demand excellent construction and low energy consumption.
The parkland entrance to the neighbourhood will be lined with new woodland featuring a mix of Beech, Field Maple, Hazel, Alder, Wild Cherry, Hornbeam, Lime and Yew. A ten-year management plan will care for the existing 1990s-planted woodland, where diseased ash has been replaced with a mix of broadleaf varieties. Native shrubs form a threshold between the woodland and the parkland.
Fruit orchards and 900 metres of hedgerow around the development will add to more fruit trees planted within four character areas across the neighbourhood that will include tree-lined walkways, courtyards, gardens, a play areas.
Mr Smart said Stonewood’s ethos of working as a team has helped it overcome the design challenges of the project. “Stonewood is a people business, that’s how we’ve grown from a few people to almost 400 across the group and we understand that everybody is important and that individual contributions within the team as it comes together helps us to achieve great things,” he said.
“Our excellent consultant design team have really risen to the challenge on this project, designing something that really does raise the bar – and that goes down to the most minute details such as where we place the bin stores and bike stores.
“To take that design from page to site takes a first class supply chain of contractors and we have had a great team supporting us. It has been a brilliant team effort and we should be proud of what we have achieved.”
He also paid tribute to joint venture partner Nicholas Arbuthnott, the retired architect who had the original vision for the project. “Nicholas’ ambition for the legacy of the project was quite clear from the start and his wisdom and knowledge has been instrumental in producing what we see today,” he said.
A virtual tour of The Olive, a four bedroom style of home at Orchard Field, can be found at www.stonewoodpartnerships.co.uk/our-developments/orchard-field/the-olive/ and appointments to visit the show home can be made by calling 01454 809780 or emailing [email protected]
Pictured: Stonewood Partnerships Managing Director Sam Smart, centre, with joint venture partner Nicholas Arbuthnott, left, and Stonewood ambassador Harry Meade