Octopus Real Estate has provided a £16.5m loan on a ground up development of over 120 homes on sites in Witchford, Cambridgeshire and Pershore, Worcestershire. Both sites benefit from full planning permission; the Witchford site will see 46 houses developed – 32 private 14 affordable – and the Pershore site 75 houses – 45 private and 30 affordable. Designed to generate a significant proportion of their required energy through rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy, the homes will be super insulated to reduce carbon, energy demand and cost.
The developer – WElink Homes – is a vertically integrated and innovative UK developer of sustainable homes that deploys Modern Methods of Construction (MMC); a process that focuses on off-site construction techniques, such as mass production and factory assembly, as alternatives to traditional building. WElink Homes will use Off-Site Manufacturing (OSM) technology to deliver a high-performing building solution with significantly quicker build times than traditional on-site methods. This also means less waste is created through the construction process, and there is a lower impact on the local community in terms of time on site, dust and delivery movements.
Andy Scott, Head of Residential Development, Octopus Real Estate, commented: “The UK has a chronic undersupply of sustainable homes, and within the industry we have a duty to work together to develop more energy-efficient housing. At Octopus, we recognise the importance of thinking outside the box when it comes to building homes for future generations. This latest development is a great example of our wider mission at Octopus to invest in assets which will deliver real impact to people and the planet. The completed houses are designed to be EPC Rated A, fitting perfectly into our strategy of supporting the building of more sustainable homes. The use of MMC has a direct impact on the sustainability and carbon content of a project, and we’re thrilled to be involved in a project that offers greater social value than is the norm.”
David Ritchie, CEO of WElink Homes, said: “At WElink Homes, our goal is to redefine the building of new homes; creating living spaces that perform for people, embrace new technology and are delivered at pace. These sites in Witchford and Pershore, as with all our developments, will benefit from high-quality design and architecture, leading energy performance and manufacturing excellence; with incredibly high levels of quality and precision thanks to our innovative MMC delivery model. I’m delighted that Octopus has funding that enables us to finance developments like these. Our homes, as well as the processes we use for delivering our homes, have been carefully designed to reduce energy demand and address affordability for homeowners, so Octopus was the natural choice for us thanks to its B Corp status and strong focus on sustainability.”
Late last year Octopus announced a partnership with Homes England, the Government’s housing delivery agency, to create the Greener Homes Alliance. The Alliance will commit £175 million, providing both loan finance and expert support to SME housebuilders, enabling them to build more high quality, energy efficient homes throughout England.