A council has signed off the building of 162 unconventional new homes: flat-pack houses.

Worthing council, in West Sussex, is working with BoKlok, an Ikea-owned brand which manufactures the houses.

The Swedish company has been in operation since the early 1990s and has already built 11,000 homes across Scandinavia, but this is its first venture into the UK.

The idea is to make housing more affordable, in an area where homes typically cost almost 12 times average salaries.

By contrast, the prefabricated houses will be sold with a 25-year mortgage for a price that would make them “affordable for a single parent”, based on the average salary in the area which was £25,458 in 2015.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins told the Worthing Herald: “This is an example of taking the lead in utilising land that is in our control to actually meet the growing need of our families that want to get into the housing market. 

“I think it’s really, really important and demonstrates we are prepared to break the model, step outside and be adventurous in what we do and take Worthing forward.”

The houses will be manufactured offsite and include flooring and tiling, as well as an Ikea kitchen. They will then be assembled on location, where the council will lease the land for an annual rent.

According to BoKlok, because most of the construction is done in the factory, a small apartment can be built in a single day. It is also more environmentally friendly thanks to its timber frames and recycling programme, meaning the carbon footprint is less than half that of normal building projects.

The council plans to retain 30 per cent of the properties to let to low-income tenants at an affordable price.

The homes will range from one-bedroom apartments measuring 50 sq metres (538sq ft) to three-bedroom apartments of 74 sq metres (800sq ft).

If the project is a success, a further 500 properties could be built.


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