Eco House Builder Photography | Derwenthorpe, York

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has recently been involved in building a large number of new houses on the outskirts of York. I often drive by them and admire their form as I do. For these aren’t your standard ‘noddy house’. They have been built to custom designs, all are heated by a community heating system (a large biomass boiler based in the scheme’s community centre) and many have winter gardens, allowing them to grow plants and vegetables all year round, directly off their living accommodation.
Walking around the finished part of the development it’s easy to see that these homes make an interesting place to live. Full height windows, high ceilings, wide sweeping tree lined roads all give the impression of a carefully considered environment. Of course that’s what the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust is about. You can often find them being interviewed in many aspects of homes from things such as price and availability to quality and environment. York, like many other cities has a major shortage of homes. I’d love to see more developments of this type being built around York. Schemes where time and consideration has gone into the design and build process rather than where a standardised, predesigned house been plonked where ever possible. Of course, as is always the case with new developments there was a lot of opposition from local residents. We seem to have an attitude of opposing development that will swallow up unbuilt upon land. It makes sense, nobody really wants to look out of their back windows onto a sea of houses when before all they could see were crops and tractors. However we have to build houses and it makes sense to do it on the edges of cities where people will be able to cycle, walk or bus into work than in remote towns and villages where you force every resident into a car born commute to the city.
Maybe we should concentrate our energies in demanding good new builds, ones that are designed exclusively for their setting, are highly energy efficient and offer real communities, space and importantly, great architecture.

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