Places for People and ilke Homes have been given the green light to deliver 307 new homes at Burgess Hill, in the district of Mid Sussex.
The two companies entered a strategic partnership in 2019, which remains the largest deal to date for Britain’s modular housing sector, and are working together to set a new standard for development on the 19.3-acre site.
The development, which will be named Abbeville Park, includes a range of apartments and a mix of two, three and four-bedroom properties. The houses will be constructed using modern methods of construction, and all the homes built will provide much-needed affordable homes for rent and for sale through shared ownership.
219 of the 307 homes will be manufactured offsite at ilke Homes’ factory, where the company harnesses artificial intelligence, robotics and digital design to create homes that are high-quality and energy-efficient, helping to keep residents’ bills down at a time when household costs are increasing. Alongside the modular construction, three traditionally-built wheelchair accessible homes will be constructed, together with a further 86 apartments.
Thanks to precision-engineering techniques, the partnership - which starts on site in summer 2022 - expects the development to be completed by 2025; this is half the time it would take if built using traditional methods. ilke Homes will be developing the site as part of its full turnkey offering. This means ilke Homes is responsible for identifying and securing the land, gaining planning permissions, manufacturing the homes and developing the site.
An increasing number of local authorities and housing associations are turning to modern methods of construction (MMC) - which include modular housing - as a means of speeding up the delivery of much-needed housing - as evidenced in a recent report from the House of Lords’ Built Environment Committee.
Places for People’s group development director, Adrian Bohr, said: "The delivery of this new neighbourhood at Burgess Hill forms an integral part of Places for People’s strategy to deliver high quality affordable homes which provide choice and meet people’s needs. Working alongside partners such as ilke Homes allows us to combine expertise and supports our aim of creating well-designed, sustainable mixed-tenure communities.”
Places for People has a strategic partnership with Homes England. In 2018, the company was one of the first organisations to be awarded a grant from the government’s national housing agency and will deliver circa 6,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years through this partnership.
Homes England has also been championing modular housing as a solution to speeding up the delivery of affordable housing across the UK. In 2020, the government’s national housing agency announced that housing associations looking to sign deals under the new £11.5bn Affordable Housing Programme will have to commit to using modern methods of construction (MMC) to deliver at least a quarter of their pipelines.
Tom Heathcote, executive director of development at ilke Homes, said: “This latest milestone demonstrates the strength of our long-standing relationship with Places for People. The Burgess Hill scheme is the latest of our sites to achieve planning consent ready for a site start in the early Summer. The size of the opportunity marks a significant achievement for our modular housing offering, and points to yet another proof of concept moment for the business.
“The new development will deliver a well designed, sustainable, mix-tenure community that will provide residents with precision built quality homes, open space and strong links to the town centre. We are very excited to deliver this brownfield regeneration scheme in partnership with Places for People and look forward to collaborating on future projects.”