Modern prefabs piloted in Tameside

Simon Donohue

A new housing development in Tameside was delivered by a 75ft crane as part of a national pilot project which could see more homes provided in the same way.

It took two days for the crane to lift three bungalows and four semi-detached houses into place at Boundary Close, Mossley.

The two-bedroom homes have been pre-built in pieces at a factory to allow for quicker and more cost-effective construction. They were fitted together on site, leaving just the roofs to be finished.

The new properties replace an old Homes Fit For Heroes estate and will be owned and managed by housing association New Charter Homes. The Homes Fit For Heroes campaign provided houses after the end of the First World War.

The new properties will provide modern and sustainable accommodation for local people for an affordable rent.

New Charter is funded the project with support from the Homes & Communities Agency's Affordable Rent programme.

Sean Stafford, New Charter's director of development, said: "We've been working with carefully chosen partners on the pilot scheme with the idea that if it successful, we could supply more homes in this way.

"Affordable housing is in high demand and as the homes have been pre-built under factory conditions, they are not subject to the extreme weather conditions which can sometimes delay our building programmes."

Specialist affordable housing developer Bowsall is responsible for enabling works at the Mossley scheme, with Factory Homes building the properties off-site at its base in Hull.

Chris Hyde, commercial manager at Factory Homes, said: "The Government is calling for a new and innovative approach to house building, and this scheme with New Charter and Bowsall is certainly that.

"Our off-site construction techniques offer quality and flexibility, allowing landlords to build more homes, at a faster rate and at a lower cost.

"We are certain that this development will lead the way for other similar schemes across the country and help bridge the housing gap in these uncertain times."

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