Red letter day for pioneering green estate

ANNIVERSARY ... Clinton Mysleyko, from Fitz Architects, with residents.
ANNIVERSARY ... Clinton Mysleyko, from Fitz Architects, with residents.

ONE year after moving into the UK’s most eco-friendly properties, residents of Sinclair Meadows say there’s no place like a green home.

The pioneering housing project allows owners of the 21 properties to enjoy a “different way of living”.

From solar panels to toilets flushed with rainwater, the homes are leading the way with zero carbon foot-prints.

Dot Wilson, 58, moved into Sinclair Meadows, just off Laygate, South Shields, in October last year with husband Brian, 65, a retired joiner.

She said the des-res housing peaked the couple’s green interest.

“We were very interested when we heard about this new eco-friendly development,” said Dot.

“We weren’t the only ones though, there were more than 500 people interviewed and we were lucky to get our home.

“We’ve loved living here since the day we moved in.”

One of the main attractions of the Sinclair Meadows lifestyle is the huge reduction in energy bills.

“We spend £10 a week on heating, electricity and water and that’s it,” said Dot.

“Last winter we only had the heating on three times, and that was for only half an hour each time.

“The design and the insulation is obviously working really well. It’s always warm in here.

“You feel encouraged to become more ‘green’ and I’ve started telling people off for running their taps for so long.”

The pioneering build was funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, and developed by Four Housing Group in partnership with South Tyneside Council, environmental charity Groundwork South Tyneside, and Newcastle and Galliford Try Partnerships North.

Fitz Architects, based in Sunderland, were also involved in designing the social housing scheme.

Designer Clinton Mysleyko revisited the project on its first anniversary.

He said the key objective of the project, which took five years to plan and develop, was to ensure the eco-friendly nature of the estate did not impact on the usability of the homes, and, after speaking to residents, was pleased to find that, that had been achieved. We wanted to make sure these were comfortable homes that people enjoyed living in” he said.

Hot water is generated on site by a huge biomass burner which runs on wood pellets.

And, so ultra-environmentally-friendly are the homes that they are classed as carbon negative, because they generate more 
energy than they need, the surplus energy being fed into the national grid.

Twitter @Monica_Turnbull