A new regeneration project, which will take 23 hectares of unused land in the Chatterley Valley in North Staffordshire, UK, will be one of the first large-scale developments by warehouse distribution developer Gazeley to meet new sustainability targets, creating a blueprint for similar projects in future.

The £50m project, which kicks off later this year, will also become an employment and business hub for the region, according to Gazeley.

The Chatterley Valley project will use a three-layer system that comprises foil stretched over a lightweight aluminium frame and inflated with air to produce a rigid structure.

The project will also use roof panels made of ETFE, a long-lasting recyclable material that uses 50 to 200 times less embodied energy in its manufacture than any other transparent roofing.

Gazeley says apart from reducing the carbon footprint of the project, the ETFE will also help with its build, being 25 to 50 times lighter than the alternatives, reducing the need for heavy support structures.

The project is an example of Gazely’s pledge that by 2010, 35 percent of its developments will be carbon positive and that 50 percent of its construction waste will be re-used or recycled.

It has also pledged that 70 percent of its sites will reuse 100 percent of development storm water and that 70 percent of sites will demonstrate gains in biodiversity and habitat.

The project will also house its own biofuel micro power station and vehicles arriving at site will pass over magnetic plates that produce electricity used to power buses, cars and bikes.

The project will be carried out in three stages and will include roadworks, landscaping and service utilities as well as new enterprise houses for small to medium-sized businesses.

Advantage West Midlands and Newcastle Borough Council will oversee the project, which will be carried out by a private developer.

By Penny Jones