UK’s largest factory-built affordable housing scheme to transform derelict site following planning approval.

Herefordshire Council has approved plans for a development that will see the delivery of 120 factory-built affordable homes – one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

The scheme, which sits on College Road, is being delivered through a £23 million partnership between leading modular housing company ilke Homes and leading housing provider, Stonewater. 

Supported by Homes England, the formerly derelict site on the Holmer Trading Estate has now been cleared and will be transformed to tackle the local growing demand for affordable housing with works set to commence in April. 

The site, which was secured by ilke Homes from the land owners and subsequently bought by Stonewater last year, is the first project ilke Homes had secured under its full development “turnkey”” offering – which involves the housebuilder leading the entire development programme, from site identification and gaining planning consent, through to developing the scheme and finally installing the factory-built homes.

The planning and site start milestone also marks the first time ilke Homes has geared up to deliver over 100 homes on a single scheme. 

The planned development is set to deliver 74 affordable rent and 46 shared ownership homes, comprising a mix of one, two, three and four-bedrooms.

All the homes being delivered at the former Holmer Trading Estate will be manufactured along production lines at ilke Homes 250,000 sq. ft factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire – a facility that is backed by a £30 million investment from the Government’s national housing agency, Homes England. 

Upon completion, all the homes will be available for either affordable rent or shared ownership and 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.

In addition, affordability levels have reached record-lows due to rocketing house prices in the last twelve months. According to Nationwide, Britain’s biggest building society, house prices rose by 6.9 percent year-on-year in February, with tax saving initiatives and the desire among buyers to move to bigger homes continuing to drive the market’s price inflation.

Thanks to precision-engineering techniques, the homes being delivered will be some of the UK’s most energy-efficient. All homes will achieve at least a ‘B’ Energy Performance Certificate rating, making them more energy-efficient than 92 percent of the UK’s housing stock. 

The energy performance of each home also translates into huge cost savings for Stonewater’s residents, who could save hundreds of pounds on energy bills each year, as it is far cheaper to heat and power one of ilke’s homes compared to a traditionally built due to increased levels of air tightness.

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.

Homes England has been championing modular housing as a solution to speeding up the delivery of affordable housing across the UK. Last year, the Government’s national housing agency announced that housing associations looking to sign deals under the new £11.5 billion Affordable Housing Programme will have to commit to using modern methods of construction (MMC) to deliver at least a quarter of their pipelines. 

John Hickman, development director (Midlands and North) at ilke Homes, says:

“While the housing market has remained largely insulated from the wider economic downturn that we’ve seen as a result of Covid-19, rapidly rising house prices have meant that affordability levels are at an all-time low.

“Since launching our full development “turnkey” offering, we’ve been able to offer housing associations, councils, investors and developers a solution to housing delivery that provides certainty over construction programmes. We look forward to continuing to work with the forward-thinking housing provider Stonewater to deliver this 100% affordable scheme.”

Matt Crucefix, director of development (South and West) at Stonewater, said:

Tackling the housing crisis requires ambition, innovation and speed of delivery without jeopardising quality, which is why we’re committed to working with our partners to deliver affordable, well-designed homes that our customers and communities can be proud of.

“We’re proud to be building on our strong development pipeline in Herefordshire – an area where we’re currently providing more than 260 new affordable homes – to deliver this progressive development opportunity with ilke Homes.”


For more information, contact:

ilke Homes: Billy Moran, Blackstock PR

Tel: 07540659036

Email: billy@blackstock.co.uk 

Notes to editors:

About ilke Homes

ilke Homes is a leading manufacturer and developer of factory-built homes helping to tackle the UK’s growing housing shortage by delivering high-quality, energy-efficient homes in half the time of traditional methods. The company works closely with local authorities, housing associations and developers across the UK to deliver housing for a mix of tenures. In 2019, the company entered into a £100m joint venture with Places for People, the largest deal yet for Britain’s modular housing sector. www.ilkehomes.co.uk 

About Stonewater

Stonewater is a social housing provider, with a mission to deliver good quality, affordable

homes to people who need them most. We manage around 32,500 homes in England for

over 70,000 customers, including affordable properties for general rent, shared ownership

and sale, alongside specialist accommodation such as retirement and supported living

schemes for older and vulnerable people, young people’s foyers and women’s refuges.

Our ambitious house-building programme aims to build a minimum of 1,500 new homes a year from 2022/23 and we have a good pipeline of development to achieve this, driven by our vision of everyone having the opportunity to have a place that they can call home. We plough our surplus into building new homes, improving our existing

housing stock and investing in customer services. 

Stonewater is proud to be part of the largest Homes England strategic partnership alongside Guinness Partnership – with £224m funding for 4,500 additional high-quality affordable homes by 2022. The funding will enable Guinness and Stonewater to extend and accelerate their development plans, bringing forward the building of affordable and social housing. Because of the certainty of grant funding from Homes England, both partners will be able to enter into longer term commitments to buy additional land, targeting areas of greatest 

housing need.

For more information, visit our website at www.stonewater.org