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PUBLISHED: 12:30 29 May 2016

The Blackmore End winner of the Most Sustainable Construction category at the Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards

The Blackmore End winner of the Most Sustainable Construction category at the Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards

Archant

News from the county’s property market

The Village in Buntingford will have more than 300 new homesThe Village in Buntingford will have more than 300 new homes

Green home tops award

The eco house built by Colin and Alison Heal that featured in the April edition of Hertfordshire Life won top prize in the Most Sustainable Construction category at the Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards.

The couple were on holiday in France when the winners were announced at a gala dinner at Hatfield House and their architect Paul Osborne received the trophy on their behalf.

‘We’d booked the holiday six months ago, long before we knew we had been shortlisted. We were overjoyed when Paul texted us and told us we had won,’ says Heal, whose job as a project manager in the construction industry involves major commercial schemes rather than houses.

The panel of judges described the Heals’ home at Blackmore End, south of Kimpton, as ‘inspirational’ and praised it for avoiding ‘the eco-bling’ that often compromises less successful environmentally-friendly buildings.

The judges concluded, ‘This is an inspirational private residence that achieves zero carbon in use. The approach is exemplary with exceptional attention to detail.’

New village opens

A new ‘village’ of 316 new homes on the site of Sainsbury’s derelict distribution depot in Buntingford has opened to the public. The first batch of two-, three- and four-bedroom houses being built are now on the market, with three-bed homes priced from £395,000 and four-bed from £455,000. As well as the house types, which have been named after flowers including Heather, Fuchsia and Primrose, the development will also include two-bedroom apartments.

The Enfield-based developer Fairview Homes is contributing almost £2.4m towards local amenities as part of the conditions for planning consent.

The on-site sales and marketing suite is now open seven days a week.

Help back on the ladder

Following divorce, Tielman De Villiers had almost given up hope of ever being able to afford a place of his own. Since the split two years ago, he had been renting in St Albans where the average house price is £468,668.

Not any more. The computer programmer who is also studying for a Masters in English Literature at the University of Hertfordshire, heard about Hightown Housing Association’s shared-ownership apartments in Welwyn GC. As a result, he now has a 50 per cent share in a two-bed flat, and is around £100 better off each month.

The 48-year-old said having a second bedroom is perfect for when his 13-year-old daughter Isabel stays, and being on the doorstep of Panshanger Nature Reserve means he can indulge his love of walking and nature.

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