Kevin McCloud turns developer

A TV presenter has set out to beat the government and build 200 zerocarbon homes.

This month, government agency English Partnerships launched an initiative whereby house builders could vie for the rights to develop one of five zero-carbon villages.

But Kevin McCloud, presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Des-igns, is going it alone and promoting green homes by becoming a developer.

In an interview with the World Wildlife Fund, McCloud says: “People need to know how to build zero-carbon homes, how developers are building them and what the quality of new-build projects is. I can’t deal with that on Grand Designs.

“So I’m turning developer and plan to build 200 green homes in the West Country.”

As well as highlighting the work of the new-build industry, WWF ambassador McCloud says the key to cutting the environmental damage from the UK’s housing stock is to reduce emissions from existing homes.

He says: “There are around 20 million dwellings in Britain which need to become zero-carbon. That’s big.”

To achieve this goal, McCloud be-lieves the government should reassess the technologies it is investing in at present, as these may not help the majority of homes.

He adds: “We need to start thinking of clever solutions, whether that’s micro-scale biomass boilers or double glazing systems which can be fitted to listed buildings. We have to start working hard on efficient systems.”

Jenny Irwin, marketing manager at Ecology, says: “It’s great to see someone in the public eye take on such a worthwhile task. Hopefully, McCloud will show how it can be done and bring projects like this into the mainstream.”