Green light for 90 new Passivhaus affordable homes in Newbattle

SMITH Scott Mullan Associates has announced that its project at Newbattle, Midlothian has received planning permission for 90 new Passivhaus affordable homes.

The development is the largest social Passivhaus project within the area, creating new homes for Midlothian Council and playing a role in the local authority’s ambitions to become carbon net zero by 2030.

The homes will be designed to achieve Passivhaus certification to minimise operational energy demand, reduce carbon emissions, and address fuel poverty. Smith Scott Mullan Associates explained that the project will help lead to the sustainable regeneration of the site of the former Newbattle High School and associated playing fields adjacent to Easthouses Road.

The project will provide a mix of tenures over a range of one, two, three and four-bedroom properties comprising both flats and houses. This will be balanced with large areas of shared and public open spaces, private gardens, landscape and cycling/pedestrian links.

To enhance biodiversity in this restorative design, a biodiverse SUDS pond will be created, with wildflower turf or plug planting of native wetland species. Other landscape features will include pocket parks for play and social interaction of residents.

The site is part of Scotland’ largest Passivhaus development programme.

The design team for this project, which includes Hardies Property & Construction Consultants, Bayne Stevenson Associates Limited, Aecom, Hawthorne Boyle Ltd and Wardell Armstrong LLP, has developed the design in response to the strategic location of the site adjacent to the Green Network.

Smith Scott Mullan said the design will provide strategic active travel links, and secure pedestrian and cycling friendly routes for residents from Easthouses Road and the adjacent housing to the wider Green Network around Newbattle Abbey, completing the edge of the existing settlement. The design will incorporate a connection route with a green corridor and large open space areas between the adjacent residential site to the south and the future primary school in the north, promoting safe routes for children to go to school.

Special attention will be given to the existing landscape preserved on the site to enhance residents’ interaction with nature. Mature trees will be retained and incorporated within the landscape proposal.

The design team is now preparing building warrant information to support an anticipated site start for main contract works this summer.