Homes for all

INTERNATIONAL architects, housing practitioners and academics are putting their thinking caps on in a bid to come up with the winning housing designs in a historic competition. The competition, aptly named Tomorrow s Garden City, is a modern day equivalen

INTERNATIONAL architects, housing practitioners and academics are putting their thinking caps on in a bid to come up with the winning housing designs in a historic competition.

The competition, aptly named Tomorrow's Garden City, is a modern day equivalent of the Cheap Cottages Exhibition, opened by the eighth Duke of Devonshire in 1905.

Supported by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the 12th Duke of Devonshire launched the latest competition, with a prize fund of £25,000.

Based on the winning designs, more than 60 high quality, affordable and environmentally friendly homes will be built by North Hertfordshire Homes, on land owned by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.


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The Duke of Devonshire said: "It's an exciting competition and I'm thrilled to be involved. I'm delighted to be renewing my family's link with the Garden City."

The object of the competition is to bring forward a selection of housing designs capable of

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* Providing a range of property types and sizes for sale or rent at affordable prices.

* Achieving a specific energy benchmark.

* Achieving low annual running costs, low lifetime costs and value for money.

* Incorporating attractive features and architecture which reflect the town's status as the world's first garden city.

* Social sustainability, including adaptability, flexibility, quality and smart houses.

The site or sites will cater for intermediate or shared equity housing with 25 per cent socially rented.

The housing mix will include one and two-bedroom flats plus two and three-bedroom houses.

Stuart Kenny, director general of LGCHF, said: "Marrying the present sustainability agenda with the garden city ethos will pose challenges in itself but we will be looking for more - truly ground-breaking innovation which moves the sustainability agenda forward."

Kevin Thompson, chief executive of NHH, said: "This is a great opportunity to really influence the future style of development within Letchworth Garden City and the environment in which future generations will live."

Richard Hastilow, chief executive of the RIBA, said: "The historical link with the 1905 Cheap Cottages Exhibition provides an added incentive to design high-quality, low-carbon homes for the next 100 years and more."

Visit www.tomorrowsgardencity.com for a full design brief and details on how to enter the competition.

The closing date for entries is May 31 and the awards ceremony will be held at the Spirella Building in Letchworth GC on July 18.

Construction is expected to start in 2008.

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