ilke Homes and Stonewater partner to develop 120 home 100% affordable housing scheme

Leading modular housing company ilke Homes in partnership with leading housing provider Stonewater will deliver 120 factory-built affordable homes in Herefordshire in a £23m deal.

The 100% 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 affordable 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 – underpinned with accreditations from NHBC, the leading home construction warranty and insurance provider.

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, underlining the need for more affordable homes.

Homes manufactured in a factory can be built in half the time of those built using traditional construction and result in better quality buildings with fewer defects. 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, saving Stonewater’s customers hundreds of pounds on their energy bills every year.

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, received £224m to deliver 4,500 affordable homes by 2022.

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.”

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.

“Stonewater has demonstrated its agility in uncertain times by purchasing this land which has the benefit of an outline planning consent, we’re excited to be working up the reserved matters planning with ilke Homes and moving this project forward.” 

Gordon More, Chief Investments Officer at Homes England, said: 

“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.”

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