Worthing set for more than 160 Ikea ‘flat-pack’ affordable homes

Councillors have voted in favour of a collaboration with a company jointly-owned by Ikea to deliver affordable homes for Worthing.

How the housing could be accommodated on the site
How the housing could be accommodated on the site

The furniture retailer, with construction company Skanska, has already built more than 10,000 BoKlok modular homes in Europe.

BoKlok is now looking to bring the model to the UK and could make land off Fulbeck Avenue, in Durrington, its first project in the country.

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The proposals would see 162 flats built, with 30 per cent provided for social and affordable housing to Worthing Borough Council at cost, in lieu of a capital receipt for the land.

At a meeting of Adur and Worthing’s joint strategic committee last night (June 4), council leader Dan Humphreys said the flats would go towards solving the ‘housing crisis’ in the south east.

“We need to go further, we need to go faster and I think this shows there really is an ambition and determination to use our assets in an innovative way to address the housing problems we have and really improve lives of the people in Worthing,” he said.

The remaining 70 per cent would be based on BoKlok’s ‘left to live’ model which aims to provide ‘genuinely affordable’ homes.

Using the average salary for a full-time worker they calculate what residents can pay after tax and the monthly cost of living is deducted from their gross earnings. An affordable 25-year mortgage is then calculated.

BoKlok said its homes are completed in an off-site factory, to allow predictable, low costs and fast, safe assembly on-site.

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Councillor Kevin Jenkins said they were not flat-pack houses, but ‘genuine modular builds’ that would provide an innovative solution to Worthing’s housing problems.

“We are often accused as a council of not caring and taking into account the needs of families across the town,” he said.

“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.

It will also support people moving from waiting lists into social housing.

“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.”

To ensure those with most significant housing needs benefit, customers can only purchase one home, with a time limit of five years before they can resell, to prevent sales to speculative investors.

Once initial interest is registered, the homes will be assigned using a ballot system.

The collaboration could see a total of 500 BoKlok homes in Worthing in future.