WW Martin receives environmental award for Poppy Fields development in Ramsgate

The Poppy Fields scheme in Ramsgate

An affordable housing scheme in Ramsgate, designed and built by contractor WW Martin in partnership with Orbit Homes, has been recognised in a new national environmental accreditation award.

The development, on the former Newington Infants School site on Melbourne Avenue, has been awarded a Green Plaque after it was judged to have achieved very high standards in sustainable design and construction practices.

The award aims to encourage recognition of environmental good practice by the nation’s builders.

Poppy Fields in Ramsgate is a 100% affordable scheme, with 55 one, two, three and four-bedroom houses and a selection of apartments. The development provides 16 shared ownership and 39 social rent homes.

Shared ownership homes consist of three and four-bedroom houses priced between £140,000 to £176,000 for a 40% share. Orbit Homes will manage all the properties on the site once the construction phase is complete.

All the units are built to sustainability standards with excellent marks under the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating.

The carbon emissions ratings assessments show the build process will reduce CO2 levels by some 23.12% below those of comparable new build properties.

Renewable energy is a key element of the development. Solar photovoltaic panels have been integrated into each home’s roof design, saving homeowners money on their utility bills, with any surplus energy directed back to the National Grid.

WW Martin also worked with local biodiversity professionals to ensure ecological enhancements were incorporated into the scheme.

The scheme has attenuation systems and natural infiltration for all surface water on the site.

Its drainage design allows all surface water to pass cleaned and filtered into the natural water course, diverting it away from treatment and pumping stations, helping to reduce the risk of wastewater release into the sea and rivers.

This is the first new build construction project to be awarded a Green Plaque, acknowledging the hard work of Thanet company WW Martin.

Peter Batt, of the Green Plaque, said: “It’s not often that we get to hear of, let alone celebrate the outstanding work that some of our developers and housebuilders are doing to minimise their schemes’ environmental footprint. That’s why we’ve launched the Green Plaque, and WW Martin deserves credit for the thought and commitment they have put into this scheme.

“We want to highlight more developments like this because they light the path that others must follow, especially if we are to rise to the environmental challenges we face.”

WW Martin director David Barker added: “To receive independent accreditation that recognises our approach to delivering highly sustainable new homes, in partnership with Orbit Homes, is testament to the hard work of everyone involved.

“We are very much committed to best practice and are delighted that the sustainability initiatives and work undertaken on this project have resulted in a national environmental accreditation award.”

The school site closed in 2007 after a move to a new combined primary premises off Princess Margaret Avenue.

In 2016, Copperfields extra care housing opened on part of the site and the remainder was then put on the market by Kent County Council.

The Green Plaque is a new environmental assessment and award, which sets out to identify and highlight the good things that construction companies, their clients and developers are doing to reduce their projects’ environmental impact.

The WW Martin / Orbit Homes development was assessed by Andrew Pook for the Green Plaque Newbuild award. Find the case study at: Melbourne Avenue Green Plaque case study

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      • And where are all the children from the new housing developments going to be placed ? No more room at amalgamated school site. I suppose they could always build another school to accommodate the, wait forty years knock that down and start the whole process again. That way Ramsgate ends up as a huge housing estate. Glad I won’t be here to witness it 👏🏻👏🏻 Well done Thanet Council (not)

    • It’s good to find out about new housing on a brownfield site, especially when the houses have solar panels- which should indeed be mandatory for all new buildings whose roofs are capable of having them, i.e. face in the right direction.

  1. So 350k for a 3 bed or 450k for a 4 bed home ( full value of the shared ownership homes) what does that translate to in terms of the socially rented homes on the site?

  2. Congrats to WW Martin on this project. There is an urgent need for legislation that ALL new buildings, be they residential or commercial, must have sufficient solar panels for them to be self sufficient as well as water harvesting systems.

    • No, they should spend the extra money on even better insulation , solar panels are added to game the epc system, much better to reduce the buildings energy use in the first place. As for rainwater harvesting , who bears the cost of the cleaning and maintenance for the system, water is extremely cheap and delivered fit for any use, why complicate things.

  3. Jolly good, so far. But some of the houses are still too expensive.
    And solar panels and high levels of insulation should be a required STANDARD for all new homes.
    So, by all means ,let’s recognise the better quality of these homes, but let’s not forget that the award is given because these houses are so unusual! They shouldn’t be unusual.
    They should be the norm!
    (Was there reference to electricity charging points for each home? Did I miss it?)

  4. Wrong LC!
    Fitting solar panels does not game the system and yes, energy ratings on new builds should be improved to a much higher standard now. We also need to be serious about retro fits. I have calculated that the cost of retrofitting all 19m homes in the UK would cost less than the price of two (2) nuclear power stations and could be delivered ASAP, not in 10 or 20 years. Any debt could be repaid by taking a charge on each property, or given as a grant on a means tested basis.
    Grey water harvesting need not be complicated or expensive and maintenance would be minimal.
    The climate change deniers are now delayers, and can always find excuses to do nothing. Procrastination is the thief of time and now also the environment.

    • I disagree, putting a minimal number of panels on a building is an easy and cheap way of gaining a few epc points, which for a measure that has no performance guarantee ( output is variable, will the panels be cleaned , is there a binding obligation to look after the system) is disengenuous, but to gain the same points through additional insulation is expensive because of the diminishing returns of additional insulation, but insulation works without maintenance ( beyond occasional new seals on windows/ doors) for the life of the building. In addition the benefit to the occupier from pv varies greatly on the ability/ willingness to change behaviours to use the energy that’s generated.
      There’s surely a case for forgoing gas and using the savings associated with the infrastructure costs for a supply along with the heating and cooking systems within the property to reduce energy consumption sufficiently to make electric only heating viable. , again pv falls short as its production is at the least when demand ( winter) is highest.
      Rainwater harvesting is maybe economical in the owner occupied sector but within the social/rented sector be made more expensive due to the legionella legislation and dealing with the assumed risks, that the providers assessors gold plate everything with.
      Taking a cost of 25 bn per reactor that gives about £2600 per property even if we double then assume we only need to deal with 50% of homes , we’re at circa 10k will that really bring the properties upto say a c?
      I’m currently improving a solid wall older building and have spent more than that on insulating materials alone, let alone the labour and replastering/ decoration costs.
      Would it not be better to build the 2 reactors and sell the power at a minimal cost ( recoup running costs and capital costs over say 20 years) and make energy efficiency improvement costs zero rated for vat along with nudge tactics in terms of mortgage rules, stamp duty rates, etc the preferred method of improving the nations housing stock. The failure of the green deal and biomass domestic rhi seem to show that state interference at distributed level doesn’t work too well.

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