Visiting an award winning housing development in Essex, the minister encouraged builders to make greater use of techniques including off site manufacture to improve the speed and design of building new homes.
He urged builders to examine how new opportunities to construct homes off site, and working closely with the local community, can help them build new, more environmentally friendly homes more quickly and efficiently.
His comments came as he visited Newhall:Be, a development of 84 new homes in the heart of Harlow. The site was declared the Supreme Winner at the Housing Design Awards and shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for the way in which its innovative design gives residents greater space, and natural light.
The barn style roofs were constructed off site and give owners the opportunity to expand their home should they wish to, while the structure is timber framed, making it quicker to build. In fact, as a result of using these methods, the time spent building the new homes on the development was reduced by 6 weeks compared with using more conventional building techniques.
And, thanks to local support, a further 300 family homes on the site have now been given the go ahead, while 4 self-builders have already made Newhall the site of their new home.
Getting Britain building
As well as looking at new and interesting designs and building techniques, the government is pulling out all the stops to get Britain building. This includes:
over 150,000 affordable homes made available in England in the last 3 years, thanks to the wider affordable housing programmes. £19.5 billion of public and private investment is being spent on affordable housing over the current Spending Review period
over 10,000 reservations for newly built homes through the government’s Help to Buy: equity loan scheme in its first 4 months alone
investment through the Funding for Lending scheme, which has increased the availability of competitively priced mortgages
keeping interest rates low thanks to government action to tackle the deficit
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said:
I’m determined we take every possible step to get Britain building, and what I’ve seen at Newhall:Be is a shining example of what can be achieved, using innovative building techniques to do exactly that.
I would urge developers to work together to make the most of innovations like off site manufacture to build quickly, efficiently and to a high standard of design.
This, on top of the billions we’re investing to deliver the fastest rate of affordable house building for 2 decades, will help us deliver the thousands of homes this country needs.
- Newhall:Be is Linden Homes’ contemporary development of houses and apartments near Harlow which place an emphasis on light and space. The development has recently been nominated for the Stirling Prize and recently won the overall Supreme Award in the Housing Design Awards.