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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
New eco-homes in Asian community
Eco homes in Oldham
Rejia Bibi is moving into one of the new houses
Eco-friendly homes specially designed for the local Asian community have been unveiled in Greater Manchester.

The 18 state-of-the-art houses in Selwyn Close, Oldham, have wind turbines and solar panels on the roof.

The homes have up to seven bedrooms, some have bathrooms that face away from Mecca and the kitchens also comply with halal cuisine.

They were designed in consultation with the local community in Coppice, which is 60% Asian.

They were built after redundant one and two-bedroom flats on the street were demolished.

The 3 million project has been developed by Manchester Methodist Housing Association.

Rejia Bibi is moving with her husband and five children into one of the new properties, from her home in the Werneth area of Oldham.

She wanted more space for her children, aged 10, nine, five, two and one - but wanted to stay close to the area.

A house in Selwyn Close
Some of the houses have seven bedrooms

"We're all Muslims here so yes, it is important," she said of the homes' design.

"For myself I'm not really too bothered but to a lot of the Muslim people, yes it is important to them and yes it is a very good idea."

Ted Cantle, the man who led the inquiry into the 2001 Oldham race riots, warned that some members of the community may feel left out.

"On the one hand the housing association have to be commended for thinking about those special needs and providing for large families in particular," he said.

"But they also have to think about how those families and that group is going to be integrated into the wider community."

Jim McMillan, of the Great Places Housing Group, said: "It's one small scheme. The housing market renewal programme is going over the whole of Oldham and Rochdale, several thousand houses.

"You can't look at this one project and say 'its only Asian people'.

"Were doing schemes in other areas where there will be a mixture of people," he added.

All of the 18 homes occupied by Asian families were made available to the wider community.


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See inside the specially designed houses



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