Are these the homes of the future which will solve Aylesbury's social housing issues?

Images from FBM Architects on how the project could look
Images from FBM Architects on how the project could look

The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust (VAHT) has had planning approved for seven inventive new eco-friendly homes, all made from re-purposed shipping containers.

The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust (VAHT) has had planning approved for seven inventive new eco-friendly homes, all made from re-purposed shipping containers.

A reverse view of how the development could look

A reverse view of how the development could look

VAHT were looking for an innovative way to deliver 'quality affordable homes', and took inspiration from other sites that had converted shipping containers, such as the docklands in London.

The homes will be built behind The Serpentine, redeveloping a former garage site which was known for anti social behaviour.

They will replace 39 garages, 22 of which are not currently in use.

Jon Hobbs from VAHT said: "We were looking for something a bit different in this instance, but that doesn't mean we will shirk on quality.

How the new homes will be laid out

How the new homes will be laid out

"We want these buildings to set the standards, so other trusts look at this and think - that's something we want to emulate.

"It's a different way of doing things. I don't expect these sorts of developments to start popping up around Aylesbury, but we feel that this development is sympathetic to the current buildings at The Serpentine."

The homes will be extremely environmentally friendly, completely recycled, with a built in 'green roof' to add to the local ecology, with high performance insulation in the walls.

They are designed in a way that will 'foster a sense of community', and 'reduce social isolation', according to planning documents.

James Mabaudi, from VAHT said: "We are always open to inventive and cost effective ideas, and this is a great example to showcase that.

"We did plenty of research into this kind of housing, and the best area to where to install these homes. It's not a project that would work without the appropriate surroundings, but because of the colourful nature of the serpentine and the use of similar building materials, we hope this can be a success!

"These homes will be good value, highly energy efficient, and we can fit more homes into one sight. Also they will be erected quickly as opposed to modern new builds.

The scheme will provide single person accommodation for social rent using converted shipping containers to create contemporary, environmentally-friendly homes in a desirable area near to local amenities and within walking distance of the town centre.

The containers will be aligned via a north/south axis, with the entrances being staggered 'to create more privacy'.

There will also be an extra unit that will contain a laundry room and secure bicycle parking.

Planning restrictions on this backhands site meant only single-storey designs would be acceptable, because of The Serpentine homes' back gardens.