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Cargo among ‘best of the best’ in top UK awards

Millbay’s pioneering first development - Cargo – has been singled out as one of the best new developments in the UK after receiving the highest industry award for quality and design in new homes.

Cargo is the only scheme in Devon and Cornwall, and one of just 10 nationwide, to be awarded a Building for Life Award 2010. Led by CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) and the Home Builders Federation, Building for Life is the national standard for well-designed homes. This summer Cargo was among 20 UK schemes to receive the top gold standard.  Now a panel of judges chaired by designer Wayne Hemingway has taken these outstanding schemes and picked the ‘best of the best’.

Building for Life judges heaped praise on Cargo, saying it would “make life better” for the local area and adding that Cargo was “an imaginative scheme which works cleverly with its surroundings in a challenging locality. The mix of business space with residential use will support the regeneration of the area.”

They added: “Cargo provides both larger family homes and smaller flats in response to the assessment of housing needs for the Stonehouse and Millbay area.  In addition to privately owned homes, it provides social rented housing which is pepper-potted into the design.”

Wayne Hemmingway added: “This is an impressive achievement.  We thought that Cargo was an excellent, brave scheme, with a very impressive façade, on a challenging site.”

Developed by Millbay’s lead developer English Cities Fund (ECf) and designed by Ferguson Mann Architects, Cargo cuts an impressive sight in Millbay Road and features 134 homes (33 of them affordable), business space, underground car parking and a landscaped courtyard garden.  It has already won the Best Housing Scheme award at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) South West Town & Country Design Awards 2009.

Robert Poole, projects director for Muse Developments, one of the partners within ECf, said: “We wanted Cargo to be an inspirational first development for the regeneration of Millbay, so to have the scheme in the top 10 at a national level for quality, design and community benefits is fantastic.”

Millbay’s regeneration has continued with major infrastructure works carried out this summer by ECf to pave the way for future phases of development.  The work has restored the historic Inner Basin, which will enable it to be brought back into use as a working marina and create a focal point for future phases of development on the surrounding docksides.

ECf has also unveiled draft proposals for the next phase of development, to the south of Millbay Road opposite Cargo, which will feature a mix of 44 houses and apartments with associated parking and ground commercial space.