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Some of the best housing this century

3 December 2009

Two winners of the Building for Life awards have earned the highest scores given to new housing developments since the initiative began in 2002.

Cross Street South

Cross Street South

Seven outstanding schemes have been selected for an award, out of a record 36 schemes that achieved a Building for Life standard this year. Particularly high scores were awarded to Lime Tree Square in Street in Somerset and to Cross Street South in Wolverhampton. Both of these schemes set a benchmark for the standard of housing which CABE and the HBF want to see emerge from the recession.

Other award winning schemes include canalside flats in Islington; energy efficient homes in Sheffield; a characterful small development in St Ives; dramatically clad homes in Brent; and a distinctive 500 home development in Portsmouth.

The schemes with record scores performed particularly well on sustainability and street design. For the 138 homes in Lime Tree Square, clever use of detail has created a rural feel with a modern twist, and pedestrians have been given priority. At Cross Street South, which is a 100% affordable 30-home development, a park provides a delightful reason for residents to get together.

Congratulating the winners, the Rt Hon John Healey MP, Minister for Housing and Planning, said that good design and planning of new homes and communities can make them great places to live and work. “Wherever there is new development – whether it’s one home, a new street or a whole town – our aim is not only to meet housing need, but to make homes and neighbourhoods greener, safer and more attractive environments for people to live in.   Building for Life helps to achieve this by setting very clear quality standards for schemes to meet.”

Wayne Hemingway, chair of Building for Life, said that residents of the winning schemes must feel as if they’ve won the lottery: ‘These schemes are shining examples of how you deliver great places to live, regardless of the economy. But the problem remains: they represent only a fraction of the housing built today. We urgently need to deliver this quality of housing as standard.’

Stewart Baseley, Executive chairman at HBF, said that the schemes highlight the advances which developers around the country are making in getting to grips with design: ‘Surveys consistently show that builders are building what their customers want to live in.’

The seven 2009 Building for Life award winners are: