Where once workers toiled for a lowly wages in industrial grime centuries ago, soon families, young couples and retired people will live in a clean, green environment - and the most modern new age homes ever created.
Little Kelham, on Kelham Island, a former Sheffield steel foundry, will become an ultra-modern village within the city’s old industrial quarter this autumn.
This autumn the first nine home-owners will move into mixed-use development, which by 2017 will include 109 of the UK’s first ever new generation smart homes, warehouse apartments and potentially a bakery and creche, a cafe, shop spaces and office accommodation for creatives.
Award-winning Leeds-based sustainable property developers Citu are developing the former Green Lane Works and Eagle Works site. “We want to combine the old buildings with a new way of inner-city living for families, not just first-time buyers and buy-to-let landlords, which is what many inner city developments tend to become,” commented Citu’s sales director Aisling Ramshaw.
One to four-bed houses are being built from wooden frames on site by local apprentices and cost from £115,000 to £280,000. The first occupants bought off-plan when 15 plots went on sale in December. Of the 12 plots released in June, only three remain available. More houses are expected to go on sale at the end of the years, with the entire project completing in 2017.
‘Smart homes’ will feature the latest super insulation technologies to minimise air leakage and use ‘passive’ energy, body heat and solar energy to provide heat. Additional energy will be created via photovoltaic panels.
A digital service will enable owners to see how much electricity and water they use on a minute by minute, hour by hour basis and get advice on how to warm their homes without needing to turn on their heating. The system will work remotely from smartphones and tablets and will also include security monitoring, local transport information community events listings.
Chris Thompson, Citu MD, said: “Little Kelham has been built to offer renewable technologies which will make its buildings more energy efficient, but we want to help the people living in them to understand the causes and effects of their energy consumption and take responsibility for it.”
On-site sales negotiator Nadia Jagiellowicz commented: “Most people buying plots already love Kelham Island and are attracted by the ‘smart homes’ concept. “We have young couples living in the city centre wanting bigger homes to raise children in, a woman in her 60s and several city centre professionals.
“The village atmosphere is already taking shape.”