‘Howgate Close’, a replicable rural housing solution

Dr Jerry Harrall Howgate Close rural housing

‘Howgate Close’, a replicable rural housing solution

13th July 2021

‘Howgate Close’ brokers a replicable model that can provide both rural housing and wood pastures for every village in the country.

Located at the western gateway to the Nottinghamshire village of Eakring, the site’s 10acres have been taken out of agriculture production to provide nine homes within a managed wildlife area.

Eakring farmer and retired GP, Dr Chris Parsons, describes his project, Howgate Close as an opportunity to address some of society’s most pressing issues: rural housing shortage, climate change, soil restoration, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, water management and purification and community cohesiveness.

Howgate Close’s main objective is to provide local people who’ve been priced out of home-ownership, with high quality rented homes, offering low running costs, low maintenance and access to the open countryside. Also underway are plans to benefit the wider community with permissive access rights to part of the wood pasture.

Dr Parsons engaged the local ‘Hockerton Housing Project’ (HHP) to design ‘Howgate Close’ using the design principles applied at HHP by its Architects, Professor’s Brenda and Robert Vale.

Those design solutions were first published in the Vale’s 1975 book, ‘The Autonomous House’ and implemented at their former Southwell home, ‘The New Autonomous House’  Over 40 years later, the Vale’s design principles have been applied to Eakring’s latest additional nine dwellings, less than 7miles from their former home. On July 27th 1994 their Southwell home became the UK’s first dwelling to export photovoltaic (PV) generated renewable energy to the National Grid.

At Eakring,138 roof mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels are to be installed, providing a 61kWpeak array with the potential to generate annually 50,000kWhrs of electricity, an average of 5,512Kwhrs per household/year. It’s estimated the 1bed units average annual energy consumption to be in the region of 3,500kWhrs/year and the 2bed circa 4,500kWhrs/year.

Eakring’s nine single-storey homes have achieved exceptional Design SAP Ratings of 131A and 142A. The SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) calculation is the UK Government’s primary methodology for measuring energy efficiency and carbon emissions in dwellings. Once completed (May 2022) these dwellings will be rated in the top 0.01% of the 14million registered EPC’s (Energy Performance Certificates) in the UK.


Other Useful Information

Howgate Close was granted planning consent in July 2018 by Newark & Sherwood District Council https://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk

Buildings constructed by Eagle Building Specialists www.eaglebuildingspecialists.co.uk 

PV (photovoltaic) panels are to be supplied, installed and commissioned by Cambridge Solar https://www.cambridge-solar.co.uk

Howgate Close is Project Managed Ian Walton ian@ianwaltondesigner.co.uk

Design SAP Calculation undertaken by Elmhurst Energy Service https://www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk

A 10year Structural Defects Warranty is being provided by ICW http://i-c-w.co.uk

Turton Building Control http://www.turtonbc.co.uk

Triple glazed softwood windows are to be supplied and installed by Hardwick Windows https://www.hardwickwindows.co.uk

‘Back-up’ electric underfloor heating is being supplied and installed by Gaia https://www.gaia.co.uk

Technical Consultancy provided by Dr Jeremy Harrall www.drharrall.com

General building materials supplied by Turnbulls https://www.turnbullsonline.co.uk/

Structural design by Sidebottom Richardson Cheung https://www.srcltd.com