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IKEA to build affordable homes in UK

John Fitzsimons
Written By:
John Fitzsimons

Worthing Council has agreed to work with BoKlok, a housing developer co-owned by furnishing giant IKEA, which will see the firm deliver up to 162 affordable homes in the town.

BoKlok is a joint venture between IKEA and Skanska, and has previously developed around 11,000 homes in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Now it will be tasked with producing up to 162 homes for a development at Fullbeck Avenue in west Worthing. According to the council, the homes will be priced so that home ownership “is more accessible for local working families”.

In addition, the council will retain control of around 30 per cent of the units, so that it can use them for social housing for those on the local waiting list.

Modular building

A report for the council had suggested that using a “traditional design approach” the site could be used to produce 45 homes, with 13 classed as affordable. 

However, the pre-fabricated modular properties produced by BoKlok mean that the deal will treble the number of homes produced on the site.

Worthing Council noted that with the average house price in the town being 11 times that of the average salary, compared to eight times for the rest of the UK, producing more affordable properties was key.

A steering group has now been set up by the council to guide the proposal forward, with the aim for the first homes built on the site to be occupied within two years.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, the council’s executive member for regeneration, said the “groundbreaking” approach could bring “real benefits to hundreds of local families”.

He added: “In this current market it’s extremely tough for local people who are in full-time work to get on the housing market. This proposal could change that, giving these hard-working individuals a genuine chance to buy their own home without having to move out of the town.”