Modular housing will be able to weather Covid-19 crisis better than traditional construction due to controlled factory environment, L&G said as it unveiled plans to build 154 homes in Selby.
The modular housing arm of insurance giant Legal & General has secured planning permission to build 154 energy-efficient homes in Selby, North Yorkshire.
Legal & General announced today that the approval was a further vote of confidence in the important role factory-built housing could play in ramping up the fast delivery of low-carbon homes, supporting emission reduction goals while easing the UK's housing crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered contruction sites across the country.
All apartments and houses in the scheme will be built with a top Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A, currently achieved by just one per cent of new-build homes in the UK, Legal & General said. Up to 30 per cent of the housing stock, which will comprise a mix of one- and two-bedroom homes and apartments, will be "affordable", it added.
The planning approval pushes the number of new homes added to the company's pipeline this year to 350, after Bristol Council announced it was to deliver 190 modular homes on a council-owned site last March.
Rosie Toogood, chief executive of Legal & General Modular Homes, described news as a "major achievement" for the firm, which will manage all stages of the project's delivery, from permissions and development to construction.
"Using modular construction, Legal & General will be able to deliver high quality homes at a much faster rate than through traditional construction. In a post Covid-19 crisis environment, the speed of delivery will be more important than ever before," Toogood said. "Our journey to revolutionise the UK's construction industry is well underway, and planning consent at Portholme Road in Selby is testament to this."
Legal & General also confirmed staff were gradually returning to work at its "controlled factory environment" from this week.
Some 75 employees at its manufacturing factory, also in North Yorkshire, were now working, it elaborated, with production "re-aligned" to accommodate social distancing measures introduced to fight the spread of Covid-19. However, the factory typically counts 250 employees, so more than two thirds of employees remain at home on full wages, it added.
Legal & General said the modular manufacturing sector, which "could be worth roughly £40bn" once fully mature, could deliver a major boost to the British economy and jobs.
"The modular manufacturing sector offers multi-skilled employment opportunities and homes that can be delivered in a matter of weeks. Legal & General's factory in Yorkshire brings a variety of highly skilled jobs to the area, including across design, finance, engineering, procurement, construction and production," the company noted. "The north of England has the potential to pull the construction industry into the 21st century, and become a world- leader in the creation of modern, high-quality homes."
Legal & General Modular Homes intends to dramatically ramp up business in the years to come, with a stated aim of delivering 3,000 modular homes a year by 2024.
Advocates of modular homes have long argued that they can play a crucial role in delivering on the UK's net zero emisison target, as factory produced buildings tend to result in significantly lower embedded emissions while also helping to optimise designs to improve energy efficiency.
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