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Deal creates £23m boost for ilke Homes
Modular housebuilder ilke Homes has partnered with housing provider Stonewater to deliver 120 factory-built homes in Herefordshire in a £23m deal.
The affordable housing development will use modern methods of construction (MMC) and will see ilke Homes provide the land for development in addition to manufacturing the 120 brand new homes for Stonewater, in its 250,000 sq ft factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
The “turnkey” deal – where ilke Homes acquired the land from a private landowner and will now develop the site – is a further step in the firm’s evolution from manufacturing homes to becoming a fully-integrated developer.
Supported by Homes England, the currently derelict site, the former Holmer Trading Estate, will be transformed to tackle the growing demand for affordable housing in Herefordshire. Upon completion, all the homes will be available for either affordable rent or shared ownership and will be equipped with fully-fitted kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.
Affordable housing delivery in England climbed 22% to 57,485 in 2018/19, according to the figures released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. However, there is a national housing waiting list of more than 1.1m households, according to homelessness charity Shelter.
Homes manufactured in a factory can be built in half the time of those built using traditional construction. Building homes in factories will be crucial to quickly upscaling the delivery of affordable housing, as the UK looks to kickstart the construction industry’s recovery in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to this, a controlled factory-environment allows for ilke Homes to benchmark quality at numerous stages of production, ensuring that homes have superior energy-efficiency and can be run on a little as £1 a day.
The deal follows ilke Homes’ recent expansion of the business with new offices in London, Birmingham and Bristol, as well as creating a new ‘homes and development unit’, to manage the near-200 percent annual growth of the company’s demand pipeline.
Matthew Bench, executive director of partnerships at ilke Homes, said: “The need for affordable housing has never been more acute, and with construction having been paused on sites up and down the country, speed will be absolutely vital. By packaging up private land with turnkey development solutions in partnership with housing associations such as Stonewater, we can quickly scale-up the delivery of high-quality, energy-efficient affordable housing across the country.
“Our recent expansion into new regions gives us a greater national reach and with wide ranging offerings including providing superstructures, turnkey solutions and full land-led developments, we can truly drive the benefits that come from offsite manufacturing.”
Homes England has recognised MMC’s capacity to deliver affordable housing after the agency invested £30m into ilke Homes in November 2019. Meanwhile Stonewater, together with the Guinness Partnership, is a strategic partner to Homes England and received £224m to deliver 4,500 affordable homes by 2022.
Matthew Crucefix, director of development (West) at Stonewater, said: “Scaling-up the delivery of affordable homes is vital to ensuring that everyone in the UK has a place to call home. As we face the current coronavirus pandemic it has never been more important to do all we can to increase housing supply where it is safe to do so. This scheme is exactly the type of progressive development opportunity that will help meet the challenge we face to provide the affordable homes needed to tackle the housing crisis.”
Gordon More, chief investments officer at Homes England, added: “Our strategic partnerships with housing associations are an important part of our commitment to delivering more affordable homes across the country. Utilising modern methods of construction is crucial to building new homes at the pace required, so it’s fantastic to see Stonewater using their strategic partnership with Guinness to collaborate with a leading offsite manufacturer like ilke Homes.”