Work has started on a controversial modular housing development in Bristol.
The homes are being built in a factory in Yorkshire and will be assembled on site in the city
A total of 185 homes are being built at the Bonnington Walk scheme in Lockleaze, including 64 council houses and 29 shared ownership properties.
The homes follow a deal between Bristol City Council and and Legal & General Modular Homes, which will manufacture the buildings off site from its factory in Sherburn-in-Elmet in Yorkshire.
The plans were approved in November 2020 despite objections over road safety, concerns over wildlife and loss of open space and allotments, which are being moved to nearby land off Dovercourt Road.
The Bristol Tree Forum also objected to hundreds of trees being felled, Bristol Live reported. A planning officer said 271 trees would be removed but 400 new ones planted on site and 55 elsewhere.
Bristol City councillor Gill Kirk said at a council meeting in November the new affordable homes would “change the lives” of a lot of people and it supported the application.
The local authority’s development control committee voted unanimously to grant permission subject to conditions and detailed contracts being finalised.
The proposed development includes a mixture of two-to-four-bedroom houses and one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as new allotment patches, green open space, a new local community hub, and walking, cycling and road improvements.
According to Legal & General Modular Homes, once the land is prepared, the homes can be assembled on site within eight weeks, with work already started on site clearance.
This will be followed by the formation of the new access roads and the construction of sewers, with the first modules to be delivered arriving in summer, the company said.
Rosie Toogood, chief executive of Legal & General Modular Homes, said: “Acquiring and beginning construction on Lockleaze is an exciting milestone for the business as we see our modular homes becoming part of communities across the UK.
“The modular construction sector is transforming the way homes are built and addressing the housing shortage. This forms part of our purpose of investing society’s capital for society’s benefit.
“The housing crisis is a human crisis and only more important as part of the UK’s post-pandemic recovery, and as people become more aware of the link between their health and wellbeing, and their homes and supporting communities.”
All homes will have an energy performance certificate (EPC) standard A, according to Legal & General Modular Homes.
It said the combination of air source heat pumps, photovoltaic cells and build standards would put the homes in the top 1% for energy performance.
Legal & General said its modular housing business had continued to grow and it was looking to hire an additional 350 employees in 2021, to deliver its growing pipeline, as well as supporting the UK’s bounce back post Covid-19.
The company has made a number of significant investments in Bristol in recent years, including having a £240m stake in the regeneration of Temple Quarter, a build-to-rent development and a proposed major mixed-use scheme on Temple Island.
Source: Bristol Live