A SOUTHEND homeless charity alongside a Westcliff architects have been recognised with an award for a new housing development. 

Bluebird, which was opened five months ago, is the outcome of a five-year programme between charity Harp and architects SKArchitects to build more homes for people experiencing homelessness in Southend.

It provides 50-beds and is built to environmentally friendly Passivhaus standards, meaning their carbon footprint and energy efficiency is "exceptional".

They have now been awarded the prestigious AJ Architects Award for the development at a ceremony in London. 

The judges were "immensely moved by this housing scheme".

They added: "Not only is it unique to its place, built to Passivhaus standards and well-resolved, but ‘it has gone over and above on its social approach'."

Steven Kearney, at SKArchitects said: “We are delighted to have won such a prestigious national award and that the judges recognised just how important and special Bluebird is in providing a safe space for an additional 50 people and supporting HARP in their incredible life-saving work”.