A VISION is being developed to transform a Chester housing estate into a model eco-friendly community.

The blueprint for Blacon is only a concept at this stage although elements of the dream are already happening such as improving open spaces, green transport and investing in energy efficiency measures.

Those behind the scheme would like Blacon to serve as a model that other communities can follow.

It could include wind turbines on the English-Welsh border, biomass boilers which burn renewables like timber to heat the tower blocks, solar powered and ground source heating, plus low energy office developments.

Ged Edwards, environmental coordinator at Blacon Community Trust, said some people living in areas like Blacon and Lache were already suffering from fuel poverty, meaning they spend more than 10% of their income on energy.

Given the average household annual fuel bill could be £5,000 by 2020, it was in the interests of all householders, as well as society at large, to reduce energy consumption.

The Trust has set up subsidiary organisation Sustainable Blacon Ltd to promote green spaces, green transport, green energy and green businesses.

With this in mind, the area at the old railway station by The Glen is being developed to create more paths, improve disabled access and reinstate some of the old features of the station.

Cycle training and repair workshops are taking place to get people back out on their bikes. In the longer term the idea is to promote safer routes to schools, with the possibility of a new cycle route running north to south.

Work is currently ongoing with British Gas to install more efficient boilers and home insulation because the area has been designated one of 10 flagship areas in the country.

The eventual aim is to see wide-spread use of solar panels and encourage lower usage of gas and electricity by installing Smart metering so residents are aware just how much they are spending.

A scheme at The Parade could see residents and businesses sharing hot water as part of a micro-grid rather than heating individual boilers.

Funding is being sought from Europe to take the project forward. Prince Charles and climate change minister Ed Milliband have praised the forward-thinking project.