The latest Rackheath Parish Council meeting on Monday had amongst the attendees a Broadland District Council housing officer as well as a manager from Wherry Housing.They were there to answer concerns from parish councillors and residents of Trinity Close Rackheath, the 12 sustainable, code grade 6 houses into which Broadland poured £500,000 to upgrade to code 6 and used as it's 'flag-ship' for the future of housing for the 'exemplar and the eco-town!
The residents are not happy, what has transpired is that the utility
bills, especially the electric/ heating bills are far more expensive
than the residents paid when in their old houses.
Why? It's simple, as Wherry had accepted the 'grant' from Broadland,
they were not permitted to receive any monies whatsoever from the
'feed-in' tariffs from any of the solar panels ( bearing in mind, if you
have solar panels installed off your own back, you receive the feed-in
tariff, anything up to £700 per year to either negate your electricity
bill or pay a great percentage towards your useage, this, depending on
the weather etc).
As you may be aware, the solar panels only generate during the sunny
periods ( normally during the day when people are at work and not
needing to use their electricity) and they then have to pay through the
nose to heat their water / houses with the ground source heat pumps. It
also transpires that the ground source heat pumps are very, very
expensive to run.
So what about the residents? The Wherry manager then told the parish
council that the idea of affordable housing built to grade 6 was never
about cheaper bills, it was to reduce carbon! So what about the
residents? The Wherry manager said it was a learning experience!
Needless to say, many residents are furious and some are even asking for
a transfer as the bills are too high! Is this affordable housing or a
'carbon con'? We all need to reduce our carbon footprint but as a few
people stated last night, residents 'flocked' to apply to live there in
the belief that their bills would all be lower. They also said that the
laymen in the street ALL believed this myth too...this needs exposing as
it is a 'white elephant' that was allowed to be built 'outside' of the
Rackheath planning settlement limit by Broadland District Council using
taxpayers money. With Wherry planning to build another 14 ( grade 4 )
houses also on land outside of the settlement limit and backing onto the
existing 12 houses (with the possibility of removing half of their
existing garden to boot!).... we could see an 'exodus' of residents from
the grade 6 expensive properties wanting to move across the garden to
the cheaper to run grade 4 cheaper to run homes!
Now take a look at the post below which is the news release Broadland District Council put on in September last year