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Leeds City Council to build UK’s largest modular council housing development

Leeds City Council and United Living have submitted a planning application for a modular council apartment and housing scheme at Leeds Meynell, in Holbeck.

If approved, it will see 28 new homes built in less than nine months and people moving in by the beginning of 2020. The typical construction time for this size development is, on average, over two years.

United Living will be the development’s general contractor. It is working in partnership with William Saunders Architects and Premier Modular.

Manufacturing of the new properties is scheduled to begin late this spring at an offsite facility in East Yorkshire. The property combination will consist of:

  • Four three-bedroom homes
  • 10 two-bedroom homes
  • 14 apartments in two blocks

Each modular building will be produced offsite by Premier Modular, which will add roofing, brickwork cladding, and other touches before being transported to Leeds.

The Leeds site is expected to receive its first home deliveries as early as this summer. Site access will be permitted at the same time that manufacturing begins so that preliminary steps like pile foundations and drainage can take place. Filling joints and finishing touches will take place on site.

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Councillor Debra Coupar, the executive member for communities at Leeds City Council, said that the modular building project was a modern construction method that changes housing delivery and allows the council to develop housing opportunities that both residents and communities need and want. She said that they were looking forward to seeing the completed homes.

United Living business development director (north) Helen Francis said that her organisation was excited to start the construction phase of its first completely modular development. The speed of delivery, without compromising on quality, will make the project stand out and could provide a shining example for others to follow. Ms. Francis said that if all goes to plan, it will take nearly half the time required by traditional methods to produce these homes.

Eugenio De Sa, managing director at Premier Modular, said that the project provides the rare opportunity to show how using offsite construction methods can improve programme schedules and the achievable quality of construction. By selecting modular housing, the Leeds council can be reassured that the scheme will be completed on time and the quality will be extremely high.

All apartments and homes are scheduled to be on site by the late autumn of 2019, with the final stages of construction to include the placement of driveways, paths, and roadways. Landscaping, fencing, and other exterior works will then be completed by February of next year.

Once complete, the properties will be under the management of Leeds City Council.

This new development was procured through the YorBuild framework. The collaborative approach taken by Leeds City Council, William Saunders Architects, Premier Modular, and United Living has made it possible for project delivery to be accelerated and could resulting in planning permission being received less than 13 weeks since the original designs were created, according to the council.

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