• Green homes for Saffron Lane

Green homes for Saffron Lane

"This is the biggest Passivhaus development in the country, and a great example of how we work effectively with our partners to develop new homes."

Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor


Work has started off Saffron Lane in Leicester on the largest development of eco-friendly affordable homes in the country.

Chan Kataria, emh group Chief Executive, was joined by Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, Project Manager at Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council (SLNC), Neil Hodgkin, and Managing Director of Westleigh, Chris Beighton, at a ground-breaking event to mark the start of the social housing and care provider’s development of 68 new eco homes on underused land near Saffron Lane.

The community-led partnership between emh group, Leicester City Council, SLNC, and Whetstone-based developers Westleigh will see the regeneration of the 13.2 acre site to create much needed affordable homes. These will be built to the highest environmental standard and are due to be completed in May 2016.

Leicester City Council agreed to the freehold sale of the land on Heathcott Road to the SLNC, which helped to attract the funding needed to develop the new homes. The £7m development costs will be met by emh group and include a contribution of £2m from the Homes and Communities Agency. The homes will be owned and managed by emh homes, the landlord arm of the group.

The scheme will be built by Westleigh to Passivhaus standard, meaning the homes will have high levels of insulation and controlled ventilation standards. This will ensure a low carbon footprint and energy efficient homes that can reduce energy costs for residents. The development is the largest Passivhaus affordable housing scheme in the country.

Chan Kataria, emh group Chief Executive, said: "We are proud to be part of this community-led affordable housing development. The strength of our partnership with Leicester City Council, SLNC and Westleigh has enabled this unique development to get off the ground and create much needed homes for the local community. We are delighted that future residents will benefit from the Passivhaus credentials as well as making it a flagship development in the City of Leicester."

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "We are really pleased that we were able to provide the land for this site. It is an investment by the City Council in much-needed new homes. This is going to be the biggest Passivhaus development in the country, which means tenants will benefit from extremely high standards of energy efficiency. It is also a great example of how we work effectively with our partners to develop new homes."

Neil Hodgkin, Project Manager, SLNC, said: "This new partnership approach, with the SLNC as the lead, has allowed us to secure new funding to build one of the biggest Passivhaus projects in Europe, providing new homes and expanding our already innovative environmental projects. This work, completed by ourselves and partners, will allow Leicester to regain the mantle of environmental city, whilst showing investors that we are proactive as a city when it comes to new ideas and ways of working."

Chris Beighton, Managing Director of Westleigh, commented: "Westleigh are delighted to continue our working partnerships with emh group and Leicester City Council to deliver much needed affordable homes in the city. We have welcomed the opportunity to engage with the local community to establish a scheme which is about more than bricks and mortar, rather a development which will improve the local area providing homes for local people and provide an opportunity for new residents to engage with the Community Farm and broader community initiatives."