Plans have been submitted for eco-friendly homes in Runcorn which would collect and reuse rainwater to reduce their impact on the environment.

An application has been lodged with Halton Council to bulldoze a storage unit on a 300m plot of land at York Street to make way for construction of three new properties.

The two-storey, three bedroom buildings would be built to the Passivhaus standard, a voluntary standard for energy efficiency and would also utilise locally-sourced building materials and reclaimed brick for part of the construction.

Passivhaus, (passive house in English), refers to buildings created to high energy efficient design standards so that they maintain an almost constant temperature.

Runcorn and Widnes World: The storage building on York Street would be flattened to make way for the homesThe storage building on York Street would be flattened to make way for the homes (Image: Google)

A design and access statement submitted in support, said: "We have taken into consideration the placement of the windows and doors to maximise the natural energy sources of light and heat from the sun, as well as retaining security and privacy."

It added: "The proposal aims to be a Passivhaus standard. This will be endeavoured through a range of means to make the house more energy efficient, such as high levels of insulation, high performance windows and thermal bridge free construction."

It said locally-sourced materials would be used to reduce the impact on the environment and reclaimed brick and block would be used for the wall make up. Rainwater collection would also reduce the total water demand of the property.

It said: "The rainwater can be used for household items or for environmental use such as watering plants in the garden, additionally, the amount of water run-off will be drastically reduced."

The Passivhaus Institute in Germany developed the design principles, following a research project to investigate why low energy buildings often did not deliver on expected energy saving potential.

In theory, Passivhaus buildings are so well constructed, insulated and ventilated that they retain heat from the sun and the activities of their occupants, requiring very little additional heating or cooling.