Foxglove Gardens’ integrated solar panels set for success

The residents will be able to purchase the power generated at a reduced cost below the industry average of 14.37p per kwh. The solar panels are estimated to save 6.55 tonnes of CO2 per year and are self cleaning, which helps to save on maintenance costs.

The buildings themselves are designed to low energy standards, which are better than current Building Regulation requirements. They are all-electric, powered partly by the solar photo-voltaic panels, and partly from the national grid, which is increasingly powered by renewables. The buildings will use LED lighting throughout.

Local and low-energy materials have been chosen wherever possible; brick from Coleford Brick and Tile, Stone from Forest of Dean Stone Firms, and Paving from Formpave. The featured timber frame construction on the curved south block, and larch cladding to the upper floor add to the eco-credentials of the scheme.

The £2.3m development, alongside buying from local suppliers, is supporting Gloucestershire sub-contracting firms, of which 3 are forest based. TJ Services from Lydney, Evolution Tree Surgery of Coleford and Watts Carpentry and Bricklaying, Mitcheldean.

The local shops in Coleford are benefiting from the workers on site spending on food & drink whilst they are at work, during the 46 week contract this is estimated to be approximately £16-£56 per day spend by 8 people or some £3,680-£12,880 during the life of the contract. 

Garry Godsall, Contracts Manager for Speller Metcalfe says: “Speller Metcalfe are exceptionally pleased to have been awarded the contract to construct the retail and domestic units at Foxglove Gardens.  Any project that will provide a benefit to the community is worth doing and we are fully engaged to deliver this project to the highest possible standards.  The modern design incorporating natural materials will be a credit to the design team. The utilisation of renewable energy that will provide energy back into the electric grid along with the high levels of insulation are a sign of modern thinking to help the environment.”

Richard Leppington, Cabinet Member for Development, Asset Management, FEP and Infrastructure says: “Forest of Dean District Council is proud to have taken the lead in the Foxglove Gardens development. The state of the art design and build will ensure value for money for our tenants, as well as making a contribution to combating climate change.

I am delighted that, where possible, we were able to use local tradespeople and suppliers. This has helped to give a welcome boost to the local economy. In addition, Foxglove Gardens will provide an ongoing income return for the authority at a time when we are looking to become more commercially minded and economically sustainable.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Spellar Metcalf, our architects, Sustain by Design and Project Sponsor, Claire Hughes and her council colleagues, who have been instrumental in the success of the project. Foxglove Gardens will provide a blueprint for future regeneration and commercial works to which the Cabinet are committed.”

Di Martin, Cabinet Member for Housing and Town and Parish Councils (inc Town Centre Development) says: ”It is fantastic to see Foxglove Gardens come together so well. We need to build on and support schemes like this to supply the best housing that we can, at the same time being conscious of our environment. I’m excited to see businesses and residents move into the development and revitalise this corner of Coleford.”

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