HRH The Princess Royal officially opens Keyte Gardens

07 October 2018

Warwickshire Rural Housing Association (WRHA) and Waterloo Housing (WH) welcomed HRH The Princess Royal to officially open its ground-breaking new development in Wootton Wawen on 25th September.

Waterloo acted as the Development Agent for WRHA, appointing the key consultants and the main contractor (Bouygues UK) to successfully build Keyte Gardens - Warwickshire’s first Passivhaus development of affordable homes – was completed in July 2018.

HRH The Princess Royal was greeted by flag-waving pupils from Years 4 and 5 at Wootton Wawen CofE Primary School, before being welcomed by Deputy Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Mrs Janet Smith JP, DL.

The Princess was introduced to Clare Sawdon, High Sheriff of Warwickshire, and other local dignitaries, as well as key individuals who have helped this ambitious development come to fruition.

HRH then visited some of the new residents who have recently moved in to their ultra-low energy homes. The Princess formally opened Keyte Gardens by unveiling a wooden sculpture featuring a bee design to honour Denis Keyte, the development’s namesake.

HRH Princess Royal unveiling sculpture

A total of 14 affordable homes have been built at Keyte Gardens to the rigorous Passivhaus standard.  Developed in Germany in the early 1990s, Passivhaus focuses on creating a building which is as energy efficient as possible to reduce its environmental footprint.  The homes have been built specifically for people with a local connection to the village either through family or work.

The aim was to achieve space heating costs which are 70 per cent less than in standard house construction to keep fuel bills low for residents.  The homes have perfect North – South orientation for maximum solar gain during the winter months, have superior levels of insulation and air tightness, and include innovative features such as air source heat pumps; a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system to provide constant filtered fresh air and recessed and shaded tripled glazed windows to reduce overheating during the summer.

Funding of £460,000 was agreed with Stratford-on-Avon District Council, along with £350,000 from Homes England through the Affordable Housing Programme.

The innovative development has just been shortlisted in the Best Green Scheme category of the 24housing Awards 2018 which celebrate excellence across the housing sector.

At handover the units were sold to WRHA, so the dwellings are owned and managed by WRHA.