New vil­lage gets ready to rise af­ter long years of dis­putes

Over a cen­tury af­ter Joseph Rown­tree cre­ated the gar­den vil­lage of New Ear­swick, work has started on a 21st cen­tury ver­sion. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

MONEY, in­flu­ence and vi­sion were the only in­gre­di­ents needed to get the gar­den vil­lage of New Ear­swick out of the ground in 1902.

Choco­latier and Quaker phi­lan­thropist Joseph Rown­tree hatched his plan af­ter a re­port on the over­crowded and in­san­i­tary liv­ing con­di­tions en­dured by work­ers in York and pledged to cre­ate light-filled homes in a haven with gar­dens, open green space and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties.

He bought 123 acres on the out­skirts of the city, en­gaged the plan­ner Ray­mond Un­win and the ar­chi­tect Barry Parker and a year later the first 28 homes were up.

Fast for­ward over a cen­tury and con­tin­u­ing his legacy by cre­at­ing a 21st en­try ver­sion of New Ear­swick has proved prob­lem­atic.

It has taken 12 years of wran­gling, NIMBY protests and hold-ups for the Joseph Rown­tree Hous­ing Trust to start on the first phase of Der­wen­thorpe in Os­bald­wick.

The 50 acre York City Coun­cil site has plan­ning per­mis­sion for 540 prop­er­ties and David Wil­son Homes has just be­gun dig­ging the foun­da­tions for the first 64 homes.

No won­der Nigel Ingram Nigel Ingram, the Joseph Rown­tree Hous­ing Trust’s de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor. sounds so up­beat and ex­cited: “It’s been a long road. We started the process in 1999 and the first plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion was in 2003 but be­cause it was so big and on lo­cal au­thor­ity land, the gov­ern­ment de­cided on a pub­lic in­quiry, so we had one in 2006 last­ing six weeks and in 2007 the Sec­re­tary of State said we could get on with it. Then lo­cal ob­jec­tors wanted the site des­ig­nated a vil­lage green and there was an­other in­quiry to look at the va­lid­ity of the that claim.

“We thought that was the last is­sue and then as we were about to start, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in­sisted on in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ten­der­ing process for the site.

“That rum­bled on for two years. So yes it’s a re­lief to ac­tu­ally start and it’s very ex­cit­ing.”

The plans are in­ter­est­ing and the mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture re­flects its time, yet Der­wen­thorpe has Joseph Rown­tree’s ethos at heart and has am­bi­tions cre­ate a di­verse and co­he­sive com­mu­nity.

The hous­ing will be a mix of rented and shared own­er­ship homes plus owner-oc­cu­pied and there will ten dif­fer­ent prop­erty types from ter­races to semis and de­tached, which are de­signed to at­tract and re­tain res­i­dents of all ages.

“We have 25 per cent of the homes for so­cial rent, 15 per cent for shared own­er­ship and the rest for out­right sale.

“These prop­er­ties will be scat­tered about, so the so­cial rented homes won’t be ghet­toised,” says Nigel.

To en­sure they didn’t make any mis­takes and to see how they would func­tion, they built two pro­to­types to de­signs by Richard Part­ing­ton Ar­chi­tects, Lon­don.

“They are con­tem­po­rary but, but we didn’t want them to look like space ships or log cab­ins. They are a re­fresh of the 1930s semi, noth­ing too way out.

“They are red brick but some of them will painted or clad with some wood pan­elling, so tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als,” says Nigel.

The con­struc­tion is eco-friendly with lots of in­su­la­tion and what Nigel de­scribes as a “Ther­mos flask ef­fect” rather than “eco bling”. The idea is to make them as air tight as pos­si­ble and to com­bat the risk of con­den­sa­tion, they will all have heat re­cov­ery and ex­change units, which re­move stale air and then heat and cir­cu­late fresh air from out­side.

There will be an En­ergy Cen­tre in the mid­dle of the site with a bio mass boiler fed by lo­callysourced wood chips, which should sup­ply the whole of Der­wen­thorpe with cen­tral heat­ing and hot wa­ter.

Other thought­ful as­pects in­clude a meet­ing room for res­i­dents, pedes­trian friendly streets and two play ar­eas. On for younger chil­dren and an­other for older ones.

There will also be a bus route through the site, a car club and cy­cle ways into the city.

“The first peo­ple who move here will given a free bus pass for six months to en­cour­age them to use pub­lic trans­port, or £150 to­wards a bike and we’ll have the first res­i­den­tial car club on a res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment,” says Nigel.

The cre­ation of Der­wen­thorpe will take seven to ten years, which will be one up on New Ear­swick, which has been added to steadily over the last cen­tury.

VIL­LAGE PEO­PLE: Der­wen­thorpe will be con­tem­po­rary but not “way out”, says de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor Nigel Ingram.

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