Newton on Trent Garden Village: Championing Rural Sustainability

We are delighted to announce that the Newton on Trent Garden Village in Lincolnshire has achieved its first BREEAM Communities certificate and is on its way to achieving an ‘Excellent’ mark, a first in the UK for a rural development.

The Trust are project managing the sustainability and community elements of the proposed £74.9 m scheme which will provide up to 325 new sustainable homes all built to high sustainability standards and including affordable, custom and self build to address local imbalances in community structure and to enable people of all ages to get on the housing ladder. All homes will be built to lifetime standards so older people can stay in the village and not lose touch with friends and social networks. Other facilities include extensive open and public spaces, a village green, new footpath and cycle path networks, sustainable transport options, a new village hub, café, bar and business barn.

The applicants are locally based farmer-landowners whose family have lived in the village for three generations. Their philosophy for this development is to improve the sustainability of Newton on Trent by enlarging its economic capacity with the aid of new housing and employment opportunities. The development would unlock capital for reinvestment in new facilities which the community has lost over recent years. These will in turn provide new employment opportunities and social cohesion through the provision of business, leisure and recreational facilities for benefit of the community as a whole, while at the same time safeguarding the current village’s traditional character. The applicants live in the community and intend to retain stewardship of the development over the long term and they have the motivation, resources and desire to maintain these facilities to a high standard.

Shamir Ghumra, BREEAM Director, of the Building Research Establishment (BRE) says

“We would like to congratulate the team in achieving step one certification of BREEAM Communities. BREEAM is the world’s leading certification scheme for sustainable places, with an aim to drive excellence across the built environment sector. The team are delivering on a fantastic project, incorporating key sustainability criteria into a large scale development whilst creating a space the community of Newton on Trent can be proud of. We look forward to continuing to work with them, and the wider project team as they progress the development further into the future.”

Kate Hiseman of Sustainable Land Trust is the team’s environmental and sustainability expert, and the only accredited BREEAM assessor in the Midlands.

“Working with the applicants and the local community is an absolute pleasure. There is a strong vision to create a sustainable village that all can enjoy. The Newton on Trent Garden Village puts sustainability and community first in a way that also supports other neighbouring villages. We are the first Garden Village scheme to achieve the very demanding sustainability standards that BREEAM communities requires. We are still well on track for an excellent/outstanding certificate at final accreditation, which is quite extraordinary as this has been a national pilot for applying BREEAM communities in a rural village setting.”

Neil Boughey of Acorn Planning Ltd is the planning agent for the scheme:

“We are obviously delighted with this achievement, which is due to our team and our client’s hard work; and the support of the local community. This is, without doubt, a very important scheme that we hope will influence national planning and environmental policy for years to come, because it shows how developers can work along side local rural communities to deliver much needed regeneration, new environmental and community infrastructure, homes for local people, and in the case of Newton on Trent, new flood defence for the existing village. The fact that 64% of existing households in the village that voted in the local referendum in Spring 2018 were in favour of the proposal shows how the BREEAM methodology works to bring local communities together to develop the best solutions for the future of their own communities, and brings them together in partnership with the developer in supporting the project through the planning application submission stages of the development.”

Information: the Trust led and worked with a multi-disciplinary consortium of consultants and experts that specialise in the planning, diversification, sustainability, and viability of rural sites, estates, and developments.

As project managers on a wide variety of prestige rural projects, our team has experience and expertise in an extensive range of disciplines – see our SLT: Ltd Consultancy page for more details

BRE (Building Research Establishment) is the umbrella body for the BREEAM accreditation system. BRE recognises that the selection of an appropriate development site is a critical factor in determining how sustainable a new community will be. In the UK, the process of selecting sites for development is largely undertaken by a combination of developers, landowners and the planning system. Many decisions taken during the design and planning stage of a large development will have a fundamental impact on its sustainability. The BREEAM scheme covers the assessment and certification of the designs and plans for a development at the neighbourhood scale or larger. In this instance this development proposal is a landowner-led initiative who will be in a position to manage the scheme from concept to completion.

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