THE largest housing provider in the South West has joined forces with a leading UK home builder to complete one of the first modular homes developments in the region.

The partnership between LiveWest and Keepmoat Homes has paved the way for 41 modular homes to be constructed at The Parade, Bridgwater, as part of a site delivering a total of 159 homes.

As part of the project, ilke Homes manufactured the 41 homes along production lines at the company’s factory in Knaresborough, Yorkshire.

Once complete, the homes were loaded onto the back of lorries and transported to the site, before being craned into place and installed.

Precision engineering techniques mean that the homes at The Parade are some of the most energy efficient in the country.

ilke Homes is able to manufacture its homes to consistently achieve at least a ‘B’ Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, with the majority achieving an ‘A’ - making them more energy efficient than 92 per cent of the UK’s housing stock.

Thanks to high levels of airtightness, which stops heat escaping, the homes at The Parade can be run on as little as £1 per day - saving consumers hundreds of pounds a year on energy bills.

Somerset County Gazette:

HOUSE BUILDING: The residential development (pic: LiveWest)

By taking the majority of the build stage off-site, meanwhile, ilke Homes is able to significantly reduce vehicular movements to site, both helping to reduce carbon emissions and disruption to the local communities.

In addition, the amount of construction waste was reduced by around 80 per cent, thanks to technology that allows ilke Homes to generate precise estimates of materials needed for each build.

Modular housing has been heralded as helping to alleviate the nation’s crippling housing crisis, as it can speed up the rate of housebuilding and make further inroads into the government’s target to build 340,000 homes a year.

Parry Morgan, head of construction and delivery for LiveWest, said: “These are truly exciting times to be developing affordable housing with modular homes revolutionising the way we deliver new homes.

“The speed that houses can be constructed means we can deliver homes quicker and accelerate tackling the region’s housing crisis.

“In addition to the increased pace of delivery, modular provide a factory build quality that will see a huge improvement in the customer satisfaction of homes, reducing the number of defects in new properties.

“We were delighted to have worked on this innovative project with Sedgemoor District Council, Keepmoat Homes and ilke Homes.”

Teresa Harvey, assistant director for housing at Sedgemoor District Council, said: “We are always keen to see a mix-and-match approach to house building in Sedgemoor, and are glad to be at the forefront of this way of getting people into homes.”

'These homes are so warm'

One of those to benefit from new development is Hayley Duddridge, a Bridgwater-based accounts manager for a local solicitor firm.

She had the financial capacity to buy a home, but not the required deposit.

It is an all too familiar position people find themselves in as they grapple with the prospect of trying to buy a home in a region where average property prices are often 10 times average incomes.

So she got in touch with LiveWest to explore her options.

Somerset County Gazette:

NEW START: Hayley Duddridge (pic: LiveWest)

Hayley said: “My relationship ended so I was looking for a new start, and buying a home was part of the plan.

“I earn a half decent salary, but I didn’t have a lot in the way of savings, which made it impossible for me to get a mortgage to buy a home outright.

“So I looked at other ways and contacted LiveWest to see if they could help.

“They told me about some shared ownership homes they were building on a new development in the town.

“So I kept in regular touch with them and was delighted when I secured one of the newly-built properties.

"I am actually paying £75 less a month than I was renting my previous home.”

Now living in a modular home, Hayley added: “You would never know my home has been constructed in this way.

"It looks just like a traditionally built home and it is amazing to think it is put together in a factory.

“The sound proofing is amazing. A neighbour moved in to the house next to me the other day and I didn’t hear a thing.

“I used to live in a large Victorian home which was damp and cold and my skin suffered as a result.

"But these homes are so warm, even without the heating on.

“Having a place of my own after going through a tricky period in my life means the world to me.”