Countryside To Open Two More Modular Homes Factories

Housebuilder to expand its offsite operations with new plants in the Midlands and the South-east.

Countryside Properties plans to ramp up its offsite housing activity by opening two new factories to build modular homes, taking its potential output to 7,500 units a year by 2023.

The housebuilder opened its first modular homes factory in Warrington (pictured) in April and expects to have built around 400 homes using a floor and wall panelised system at the plant by the end of the current financial year, which closes on 30 September.

The components are delivered onsite with first-fix plumbing and electrical channels installed, windows in place and insulation sealed into the unit.

Countryside’s housebuilding chief executive Phillip Lyons, who also heads up the group’s procurement activities, said the firm was looking to open a facility in the Midlands and then one in the south-east of England, possibly in Kent or Essex.

“We’re very focused on modern methods of construction,” Lyons said.

“We wanted to bring our activity in-house and the Warrington factory is not a trial, it’s the real thing. We intend to roll it out across the UK,” he added.

A second factory is earmarked to be established in a yet-to-be confirmed location in the Midlands in between 18 months and two years, with a capacity of 3,000 units a year.

The third plant is expected to be built in 2022 or 2023 and like the Midlands facility will be able to turn out 3,000 systems a year.

A similar outlay per new factory to the £6m spent on the Warrington facility is likely, according to Lyons.

The 128,000ft² Warrington plant, which employs around 70 staff over two shifts, is expected to have built around 1,500 homes by the end of the 2020 financial year.

Countryside said using the system cut the time it took to build from foundations to completed property from 14 weeks to 10 weeks, with the possibility of reducing this down to eight weeks.

Building its own modular panels saves Countryside an estimated 15% compared with buying systems from a third-party supplier.

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