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Chinese firm and housing association agree £2.75bn modular housebuilding deal

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Housing association Your Housing Group and the China National Building Material Company have announced plans for a joint venture to manufacture up to 25,000 offsite homes a year

The association has created a joint venture with renewables firm WElink Energy in a bid to become the UK’s leading modular housing developer.

The partnership will also access technology and financial support from state-owned China National Building Material Company.

Brian Cronin, CEO of Your Housing Group, said: ‘The announcement of our JV deal is extremely timely. The housing shortage within the UK is only going to be addressed by radical innovation and new ways of tackling the age-old issues.’

He said that the joint venture would also look to engage with local authorities and other housing associations to provide offsite manufactured homes.

The association hopes to bring down the cost of building homes from around £1,000/m² to around £400/m².

Five pilot schemes are set to deliver 2,000 homes next year, with panels built in Barcelona. The first scheme, in Liverpool, has already been submitted for planning.

Your Housing Group has committed £250 million to the initiative.

Earlier this year, investor Legal & General has launched a modular housing business, Legal & General Homes, with plans to manufacture around 3,000 homes a year from a warehouse in West Yorkshire.

Developer Urban Splash reportedly has a target to deliver up to a 1,000 units a year of its own modular ’hoUSe’ product. In January Urban Splash won planning for 100 apartments and 71 family homes in Salford, designed by ShedKM.

Earlier this year, a study by consultancy KPMG found that net savings of 7 per cent were possible offsite construction projects due to shortened construction periods, despite increased construction costs.

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