Friday, December 02, 2016

Passivhaus comes to Redbridge

Today, Friday 2 December, Redbridge Council unveiled their latest housing development at Acer Close, Woodford. These three new council homes are built to Passivhaus standards and as far as we know are the first of their type in Redbridge, although we understand there are some small private developments at the planning stage.

Passivhaus was developed in Germany back in the early 1990s and they have been slow to appear here in the UK, the first. as reported in the Evening Standard, being in Camden in 2010. However, things now seem to be moving and the Passivhaus website lists some 89 schemes in the UK, although it doesn’t include the one reported here, it’s that new, and some 250 buildings completed and certified by the end of 2013.

Built with extra thick walls and insulation, triple glazing and other energy saving features these homes are not just a benefit the occupier’s purse with the savings on energy bills, but also contribute to our communities carbon reduction targets. We are very pleased that our council is taking environment issues seriously and setting an example to the private sector. The homes also came complete with secure bicycle storage, compost bin, water butt and solar panels on the rear roof.

We were also intrigued to see the new style lids for recycling bins, which resemble a rather large shower cap.

extra thick insulated walls & triple glazing
solar panels
integral water harvesting
compost bin
the new occupier with cabinet members Coomb and Hussain plus Cllr Duddridge
the new recycling bin lids
what it looked like before


  1. How long do the tenants have to live there before they can exercise the right to buy?

    1. So why is the Local Authority building homes that will go into private ownership at the first opportunity?

    2. You would have to ask them. There is a local forum this evening in Mossford School starting at 6:30pm. Why not pop along and ask the leader?

    3. Farah Hussain, Cabinet Member for Housing3:03 pm, December 07, 2016

      Hi Patsy,

      The Council has plans to build 250 new council homes going forward to provide affordable accommodation for Redbridge residents who would otherwise be living in expensive privately rented properties or have no choice but to move out of the borough that they have lived in for years. With private rents sky-rocketing and housing benefit levels capped at 2010 levels (worth remembering that most people claiming benefits are in work) we believe that we should be doing more to provide decent, affordable homes for our people. While we do lose homes every year due to Right to Buy (RTB), we also know that not everybody eligible to buy their home under RTB does. It is not a given that these homes will go into private ownership at the first opportunity. Building new council homes not only provides permanent accommodation for those currently homeless or living in temporary accommodation but also allows current council tenants to downsize, freeing up larger properties for bigger families. The money that we are spending on building these new homes is ring-fenced and cannot be spent on anything else outside of housing.

    4. Thank you, Farah, for your detailed explanation as to why the Local Authority continues to build houses while Right to Buy is still in place. However, you have provided very few statistics. Could you possibly tell us how many properties the Local Authority has built in the last 15 years and how many of those are still owned by the Local Authority and available for rent?

  2. Is that a sports model Merc parked outside a brand new council house I see?

    1. I do believe it is, but whether it belongs to the occupant is another matter ...