Sustainable Development Focus: Vista Zero Carbon Village

Sustainable Development Focus: Vista Zero Carbon Village
Sustainable Development Focus: Vista Zero Carbon Village





Developer – Morris Homes

Name of project – Vista

Location – Cripple Sidings, off London Road, Peterborough

Size – 17 acres, 295 homes

Lead contractor – Morris Homes

Type of building (private, public, commercial) – Residential

Status (or appropriate completion date) – The first phase of homes is available to buyers and construction on the next phase is underway

Architect – Barnett North LLP and landscape architects Barnes Walker

Project Value – £40.2 million gross development value





















Morris’ landmark Vista development has been strategically designed to provide sustainable living for househunters in Peterborough, with a range of renewable features available in each zero carbon home, supporting Morris’ commitment to building energy efficient properties. The site is the largest of its kind in the UK, and its environmentally friendly set-up will also help the Government meet its target to cut emissions from houses by 29 per cent by 2020. 


Morris was named as the preferred developer for the Peterborough Carbon Challenge in August 2008. The housebuilder made a conscious decision to share the vision of the site with the community, outlining the winning vision for the development with the local community at a Community Engagement Event held at Peterborough United Football Club in January 2009. Feedback from this exhibition was carried through and incorporated into revised designs displayed at a second meeting in January 2010.

Morris has worked closely with the Homes and Communities Agency and Peterborough City Council from the beginning of this project to ensure that the homes at Vista meet the energy efficiency standards required and are designed to complement the existing residential properties in the area. 


Vista is a 295 home development located in Peterborough’s South Bank area. The site was formerly used by a mix of commercial and industrial businesses, including the Elliott factory, before being left to become a mixture of hardstanding, car parking and rough scrubland.

The development of the zero carbon village is playing a key role in the South Bank Regeneration Scheme, which is attracting hundreds of millions of pounds of investment to create a housing, commercial and cultural hub in the area. The site neighbours Peterborough United football ground, and is just minutes from a host of shopping venues including The Queensgate and Serpentine Green centres. The local train station provides a 45 minute commute into London, and combined with the mix of easily accessible local schools and green parks, Vista is an ideal location for both families and professional couples.





During the planning process careful consideration was taken by Morris, architects Barnett North LLP and landscape architects Barnes Walker to ensure that the properties at Vista met all zero carbon standards whilst remaining aesthetically pleasing to the surrounding area. The site is undergoing an extensive transformation project that is turning it into an innovative community that provides quality new build homes and eco-friendly living for residents.

As part of its zero carbon ethos, each house at Vista is fitted with an energy efficient combination boiler, which has low electricity consumption and a high modulation range to reduce waste heat and gas consumption, and produce low levels of mono-nitrogen oxides. Each of these boilers is linked to the solar panels at the development, from which the solar collection is expected to generate approximately 29 per cent of the total annual energy requirement per annum for each household.

Households can monitor their primary electricity usage and gas consumption via the ENE3 devices that are installed in each property, to help control their energy emissions. The apartments at Vista have meters fitted to monitor residents’ electricity usage.
To enable further energy savings the properties have a Mechanical Heat Ventilation Recovery unit in place. This exchanges the heat energy contained in the air extracted from the house and transfers it to the incoming replacement air, maintaining room temperature and reducing residents’ heating requirements.

Each home has comprehensive rainwater harvesting technology, which can collect and use over 22,000 litres of water each year. This water can be used for facilities such as toilets and washing machines, but the system also comes fitted with a switch to change back to the fresh mains supply if desired. This will help to reduce water consumption at Vista by 36 per cent compared to the average new build property in the UK, whilst lowering long-term household bills.

Other emission reducing elements found in the homes include energy efficient lighting, ultra-low water-use taps and showers and a home composting system in the rear garden to dispose of degradable waste materials. Large windows are fitted in the living rooms to provide the recommended amount of daylight, which will help to reduce the amount of electrical light required. The combination of renewable resources at Vista can save residents up to £310 per annum on household energy bills compared to costs for residents in a typical dwelling.*

Alongside the houses sits 2.7 acres of public garden and landscaping to complement the design of the properties, which includes living walls to create a natural break in the surroundings and a number of cycle paths. As with all properties across the Morris portfolio, homes at Vista are built to National House-Building Council (NHBC) standards, providing residents with a NHBC 10-year warranty. Buyers can consult with Morris to personalise their new property and choose from a range of finishes, such as flooring and tiling.






Vista is in the initial stages of development. The first phase of two and three-bedroom sustainable properties at the site are now available to buyers, and in December the first sale at Vista was completed. There will be 295 zero carbon homes at the site upon completion, ranging from two-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom detached properties.

*Savings based on As-Designed SAP calculations and current British Gas energy prices

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Ben Crowther
Ben Crowther