Gilling West affordable housing scheme wins award

Broadacres development manager Andi McLoughlin with the LABC with, from left to right, Adam Lee, Ward Councillor Bill Heslop and Helen Grant, deputy leader of Richmondshire District Council.

A £1.6 million affordable housing scheme in Gilling West has won a prestigious building excellence award.

Broadacres Housing Association’s Oswin Grove scheme in Gilling West was named Best Social or Affordable Housing Development of the Year for the North and East Yorkshire region in the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards.

The 11-home development was opened in 2018 and made possible after Richmondshire District Council, responding to a local need for more affordable family homes, gifted the site of a former sheltered housing complex to Broadacres.

Broadacres, in partnership with its architect Pod Newcastle, contractor The Esh Group and engineer Billinghurst, George & Partners, was singled out for the complex nature of the design and build process.

They took the empty, flood-hit sheltered housing scheme in the centre of the village and transformed it into the site into a new, modern, energy efficient affordable housing development.

They did this by raising the development half a metre above where the original complex sat to avoid any future flooding issues. This involved installing concrete ‘pile’ foundations that went in 14 metres underground effectively acting as stilts.

Other innovations include installing air source heating at each property. The village does not have a gas connection so heating oil is used and this can be expensive, especially during fluctuations in oil prices. Air source heating is cheaper and forms part of Broadacres’ strategy of ensuring affordable warmth in its rural communities.

Gail Teasdale, Broadacres chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to have won such a prestigious award which recognises schemes that showcase innovative, smart and creative building solutions.

“Working with our partners we created an amazing development which met the demand for new affordable family homes in a popular village.”

Adam Lee, director at Pod Newcastle, said: “We are delighted that the design of Oswin Grove has been recognised with this award. We set out to provide a modern twist which was still in keeping with the local surroundings and to add further vibrancy to the village, and it’s clear that this has been a success.”

Leader of Richmondshire District Council, Councillor Angie Dale added: “We are very proud of the work being done in Richmondshire. This innovative scheme saw a flood hit development transformed into modern housing in a rural location, providing homes for local people.”

Oswin Grove will now go onto be judged at the Yorkshire regional awards and if successful there it will go to the national final in London in October.

The announcement coincided with the start of national rural housing week.