Award-winning local developer Freeman Homes has announced plans to build an exclusive sustainable development in the highly sought after village of Fownhope.

Planning permission has been granted for The Willows project, which will feature ten individually designed, highly efficient A-rated 2, 3 and 4 bedroom properties.

Freeman Homes, which purchased the land with outline planning permission from the landowner, has obtained approval for a reserved matters application which significantly enhances environmental considerations for the properties, going above and beyond building regulations and legislation to offering future-proofed sustainable housing.

The development, due to begin this month, will be a follow-on site to the company’s existing Cherry Hill scheme in the village which is already 85% sold, adding to the long list of successful projects Freeman Homes has delivered across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

Fownhope, known for its picturesque location in an area of outstanding natural beauty, is a protected area which has not previously been subject to much housing development, making the plans “extremely rare”.

Benefitting from excellent village amenities, the site is on an elevated, semi-rural spot on the Eastern outskirts.

The homes will benefit from spectacular views across surrounding countryside and an enhanced landscaping scheme, carefully considered to reflect Freeman Homes’ strategy to place the environment at its centre. 

These areas will comprise ecology landscape planting and green open spaces to create wildlife corridors and buffer zones, as well as support the local environment’s biodiversity.

Other ecology features will include various wildlife homes including hedgehog houses, bird boxes, built-in bat boxes and integrated bee bricks; a Sustainable Drainage System (SuD) with wetland ecology planting, as well as orchard tree and wildflower planting. Freeman Homes support the Wye Valley’s Dark Sky Policy, installing wildlife-friendly downward-directed external lighting.

Using a mix of natural stone, brick, timber boarding, the housing will also offer thermal efficiencies and utilise the lowest carbon outlay construction method.

The EPC A-rated properties will benefit from a number ofenergy-efficient features, including integrated solar roof panels, air source heat pumps, and battery packs to store generated energy, enabling homeowners to save money on bills, reduce household carbon footprint and emissions, while reducing reliance on the national grid.

Featuring high specification fittings including underfloor heating and energy efficient kitchen appliances, each build will also incorporate many key aspects to appeal to the eco-conscious buyer.

These include internal and external water saving features – from shower heads and toilets to water recycling butts and waste recycling facilities. There will also be Project EV electric car charging points included.

Hayley Coombs, Sales and Operations Director at Freeman Homes said: “We are delighted to announce plans for this development of energy efficient properties which fuse sustainable innovation with high-spec features and modern living.

“We have engaged with local stakeholders during the planning process to try and address any concerns and ensure as much as possible our development was aligned with Fownhope’s own Neighbourhood Development Plans, respecting the Wye Valley AONB and the scheme fosters social and economic wellbeing for the area.

“Our objective for this development was to create low maintenance, future-proof homes that are efficient to run.

“With spacious rooms our homes are ideal for local people who need to right-size, moving out of large family homes into a more manageable yet spacious home.  This in turn frees up larger, older properties for families who wish to upsize. We have proven this to be the case at our Cherry Hill development with 85% of our customers moving from within 3 miles of the village, and the majority choosing to right-size into what we hope will be their forever home.”