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New council homes will use "sustainable" wood

Created on 19/01/2017 @ 14:05
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New council homes built in Newtown will use local, sustainable wood materials, Powys County Council has agreed.

The council’s Cabinet has adopted a new policy that will see any new homes using such locally sourced materials. The policy will be implemented throughout the county.

As part of the Homegrown Homes initiative,the Wood Encouragement Policy looks to make better use of natural resources and create local employment opportunities.

“The Wood Encouragement Policy sets out that all new Council housing projects will look to use wood as the preferred material for both construction and fit out purposes,” said a council statement.

“This pioneering approach has been developed as part of the Homegrown Homes Partnership which was set up to encourage forestry and product manufacturing, retain and create new jobs and build better, and more energy efficient houses.”

Cllr Rosemarie Harris, Cabinet member for Housing, said: “Adopting the Wood Encouragement Policy today demonstrates our support for the Homegrown Homes project, highlights local timber as a sustainable building product and recognises the value of the forestry and timber industry to the economy of Powys.

“The forest and wood products industry is extremely important to employment and economic development in rural areas and the Homegrown Homes project provides a great opportunity for us to lead the way to help build a skilled, resilient and sustainable county.”

Woodknowledge Wales champions the development of wood-based industries for increased prosperity and well-being in Wales and has provided support on this Powys project.

Tabitha Binding of Woodknowledge Wales says: “We are delighted to support Powys County Council to deliver this exciting and unique timber sector development project. Powys, as Wales’ largest county has ample land for timber production, existing sawmill capacity and a track record of timber framed manufacturing.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to develop and expand the forestry, wood processing and timber construction sectors, maximising community, economic and environmental benefits. The adoption of the UK first Wood Encouragement Policy in Powys is further demonstration of Powys commitment and leadership and is a shot in the arm for local businesses.”

The Homegrown Homes Partnership brings together Powys County Council’s Housing and Regeneration Services,  the Welsh Local Government Association, Community Housing Cymru and Natural Resources Wales, along with local social housing providers, Wales and West Housing Association, Grwp Cynefin, Mid-Wales Housing, Newydd Housing Group, Pobl Group, Pennaf Housing Group and Melin Homes.

The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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