Viride/Eldonians submit eco-homes plans

Jersey-based developer Viride Holdings has submitted plans for an £85m sustainable development of 350 units in the Eldonian village area of north Liverpool.

Viride said it aims to establish new standards for environmentally friendly living, with pedestrian boulevards, low energy houses with wood-pellet biomass boilers to provide heating and hot water, a green transport plan offering free membership of the Whizz Go city centre car share scheme, public transport travel passes and storage space for 400 bicycles.

The project, to be called Via Verde, will include retail, leisure and offices behind Leeds Street along Vauxhall Road. The development will see seven mixed-use blocks, the highest nine-storeys, with a range of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and houses with gardens.

Residents in the Eldonian village, itself a pioneering housing co-operative project now 25 years old, are joint applicants on the scheme.

Under the terms of the JV, the Eldonians could generate an annual income of almost £1m in ground rents and service charges, with the money invested in local community regeneration projects.

Alastair Cattrell, spokesman for Viride, said: "The management of the Via Verde development – including the maintenance of the buildings and green spaces and the operation of community facilities such as a community crèche and cafe – will be delivered by new social businesses employing local people.

"People have sometimes been concerned that city centre schemes do little to create prosperity or opportunity for local people and communities. Via Verde and the Eldonians will see a formula ensuring local people derive real and direct economic benefits.

"Via Verde paves the way for a new ambitious vision for the expansion of the city centre towards Vauxhall and the regeneration of local communities. It will bring a revival of Vauxhall Road as a vibrant high street at the heart of a thriving city community. It will become a living hub."

Around 100 of the 356 houses and apartments being built will be available on a shared equity basis.

Via Verde has been designed by McCormick Architecture, with Rodney Street-based Gee Squared as planning consultants.

A decision is due from Liverpool City Council's planning committee on July 8.

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