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Nationwide’s Oakfield housing development

Nationwide’s Swindon housing development scoops coveted housing design award

Swindon-based building society Nationwide’s first foray into building houses has won a prestigious design award.

In 2017, Nationwide announced a joint enterprise with Swindon Borough Council to build 239 houses on a site in east Swindon.

This week the project was given the Building for a Healthy Life award by Design for Homes at the Housing Design Awards 2021, which recognises housing developments that have been built to create places that are better for people and nature.

The £50 million Oakfield development will be one of the largest off-gas developments in the UK, with all 239 homes set to be EPC-A rated.

Nationwide is fully funding the development and has brought together experts, such as Igloo Regeneration, Metworks and PRP, to build homes which are fit for the future.

The development will have a wide variety of homes, from two to four-bedroom terraced houses to smaller apartments, with 30 per cent allocated for affordable housing.

Each property is built to leading environmental standards with a host of green innovations to help people live more sustainably.

Since announcing its intentions for Oakfield at the end of 2017, Nationwide has been in regular dialogue with local people, businesses, and community groups in Swindon, involving them to ensure the project meets their expectations and needs.

Such an approach helped ensure there were zero formal objections when Nationwide submitted its plans for the site in 2019. The first homes are expected to be ready to move into in 2022.

Sara Bennison, chief product and marketing officer at Nationwide Building Society, said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised by Design for Homes with this award.

“It’s testament to Nationwide’s commitment to creating a sustainable and community-focused housing development which will provide wonderful homes that are truly fit for the future.

“We hope our new approach to creating high-quality homes that put community at the heart of design will become a blueprint for future projects across the UK.

“This is why we will be sharing all of our learnings and plans from this development in order to help create positive change.

“It shows you don’t have to be a housebuilder to build homes and make a difference.”

Oakfield, and the ambition to deliver a blueprint for good quality, sustainable homes, is just one aspect of Nationwide’s green homes strategy.

The Society, alongside 12 other organisations, recently called on the government to commit to a national retrofit strategy, identifying seven guiding principles that will help make the UK’s 29 million homes greener.

Nationwide is committed to providing homeowners with the confidence and support to create a green housing revolution to help tackle the climate emergency.

Kate Barber-Lomax, Oakfield’s development manager at igloo, said: “We’re thrilled that Oakfield has won the inaugural Building for a Healthy Life award, recognising the application of Igloo’s Footprint process throughout the design and construction stages and Nationwide’s community focused approach to building homes.

“The masterplan features many deliberate design decisions to promote the health and wellbeing of residents, encourage neighbourliness and connection with both nature and the wider community.

“All this sits alongside the green credentials of the scheme, and we’re very proud of how the development is pushing the boundaries for People, Place and Planet.”

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