One of the tallest modular property development gets go ahead in London

London is to get its first 21 storey modular block of homes that will be constructed offsite and then dropped into place, it has been announced.

The development in Croydon will be one of the tallest schemes of its kind and provide homes that will be affordable. This type of construction is likely to be seen increasingly in the UK as it can speed up the delivery of the 100,000s of new homes needed every year.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan approved the development at Addiscombe Grove in Croydon, over 70% of which has been secured as affordable for first time buyers to buy at a discount below the market price.

The developer, Pocket Living, has further agreed in principle to make the remaining homes available for shared ownership, making all 153 homes genuinely affordable.

‘Tackling London’s housing crisis requires bold new approaches. We know turning things round will take time, but off site construction is an innovative way to speed up building the affordable homes our city needs. I invested in Pocket Living to help them build genuinely affordable homes that are sold to local people first,’ said Khan.

Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket Living, said modular homes can be built faster and provide genuinely affordable housing. ‘We are proud to share City Hall’s vision for housing in the capital. A vision that we can help realise thanks to the recent £25 million investment from the Mayor that will see over a thousand genuinely affordable homes for Londoners started within the next three years,’ he added.

The homes being delivered by Pocket in this scheme for discounted market sale are affordable with a 5% deposit to households with a salary of £39,000, and they can only be sold to residents and workers in the borough.

The innovation involved in the development has been welcomed. ‘The new draft London Plan has set an ambitious target of 66,000 houses to be delivered per year. With limited funding and limited land, we urgently need innovation in construction methods and delivery approaches to scale up and speed up delivery,’ said Richard Brown, research director at the Centre for London.

‘Manufactured homes are often more talked about than built, so it is positive to see how they can contribute to taller buildings on complex urban sites. We hope this announcement will help to shift preconceptions about off-site construction,’ he added.

Centre for London is researching how we can realise the potential of housing innovations such as offsite construction and new delivery models to improve the speed, scale and quality of housing delivery across London, and will publish a new report this summer.