13:50 PM, 20th December 2016, About 6 years ago 15
China National Building Material Company (CNBM) is to use it’s industrial power in a £2.75bn joint venture with UK housing association, Your Housing Group (YHG) based in Warrington and renewable energy supplier, Welink.
This partnership is planned to help ease the massive under supply and pent up demand for affordable homes in the crisis hit UK housing market.
Six factories creating 1000 jobs will be built to pump out 25,000 prefabricated, solar powered, low carbon, energy efficient homes per year by 2022 using Spanish technology.
This deal has been endorsed by the Uk’s Department for International Trade with Chinese State owned CNBM investing £2.5bn, and housing association YHG £250m.
Welink confirmed the factories will use British light gauge steel framing to produce panelised components for residential developments that are “at least 75% off grid” thanks to solar power and energy efficient design.
International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, said “this is a clear endorsement of the UK’s attractiveness as a place for inward investment. This announcement has the potential to benefit local communities across the country, creating jobs, boosting local economies and creating homes.
CNBM’s chairman, Peng Shou, said “the key to unlocking the opportunities to address the housing needs of the UK is through the development and delivery of an industrialisation strategy at significant scale”.
Five pilot schemes are planned to deliver 2,000 homes next year before the factories are built, with the panels for these homes supplied by Barcelona Housing Systems. The first scheme is due to get planning permission for Liverpool in January.
Ajmal Rahman, chairman of Welink Group said, “Our partnership comes at a time when the UK’s housing shortfall is only going to be addressed by radical innovation in building practices which opens the way for modular housing. This joint venture will give a significant kick start to delivering the new homes people need across the UK which includes helping to address fuel poverty issues through our incorporated solar and energy efficient design, meaning our developments can be at least 75% off grid. Furthermore, British produced light gauge steel framing will help keep our carbon footprint to a minimum.”
It is thought the project will be able to get the cost of construction down to just £400 per square metre once the economies of scale and production have kicked in. This is down from an initial projected cost of £1,000 per square metre
The figure of 25,000 new homes per year is still some way short of the 250,000 required just to meet UK demand without putting a dent in the shortfall of home building in the last 20 years.