Franklin Gardens is located in the Association’s home town of Spilsby, birthplace of Sir John Franklin, in the Lincolnshire Wolds. In the early stages of development the project received much local opposition, requiring high levels of stakeholder consultation. The conclusion however was pioneering housing design that is now a beacon for high quality affordable housing for which the community of Spilsby is proud.
Eight three-bedroom, ten two-bedroom houses, and a pair of two bedroom bungalows nestle on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Franklin Gardens in comparison to neighbouring Victorian and traditional estate housing, is a very different contrast to the ideas of social housing standards and design. Four houses have traditional duo-pitched roofs, positioned south facing. Fourteen houses are arranged in seven pairs of semi-detached houses with a difference – a three-storey three-bedroom house is attached to its two storey two-bedroom neighbour. A mono-pitch roof covers the pair creating an eye-catching jagged roofscape to the sloping site on the edge of the hills of the Wolds facing towards the Lincolnshire landscape of the Fens.
The design takes full advantage of solar energy, using photovoltaic cells (PV), providing a long-term environmentally friendly energy source, converting natural sunlight into free electricity. All electricity generated by the PV roofs is sold back to the grid, and offset against individual electricity bills. Residents are encouraged to think of their PV meter as a moneybox, which has assisted with the introduction of a culture of energy efficiency.
The homes are timber-framed and built to a very high-energy efficiency standard, achieving SAP ratings of between 112 and 115 in 2014 when the project was completed. At this time when fuel costs were much lower, but fuel poverty was also a problem, heating and lighting costs for the properties averaged just £200 a year.
The Franklin Gardens development also resolved a number of community issues such as:
In May 2004 Franklin Gardens were commended in the National Housing Federation’s Affordable Home Ownership Awards in the categories of ‘Best Rural Scheme’ and ’Innovation in Affordable Home Ownership’.