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1,000 Homes for the Future Will Benefit South West Residents

People across Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset will benefit from a new partnership to build more energy-efficient homes for rent and ownership.

Published 12 May 2022

Magna Housing and Wiltshire Council have joined forces to address the housing crisis, appointing offsite manufacturing company Rollalong via the South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA) Offsite Construction of New Homes framework, to build nearly 1,000 new homes over the next three years.

At the forefront of this work in the local area, the partners are committed to accelerating the delivery of modular homes in the UK, using offsite manufactured, precision-engineered techniques to deliver much needed homes in the local area, as well as modernising and speeding up the overall process.

The latest range of homes are net zero carbon ready and net zero carbon living, supporting the Government's objective of delivering net zero carbon homes by 2050. They are cheaper to run than traditionally built homes, with better insulation and more efficient heating, and people living in them will be better off as a result. 

Designs can flex from traditional to contemporary to suit the towns and villages across Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset.

The development of these new homes, designed with the end user in mind, supports the local economy by employing local people and using local suppliers. The construction process also reduces any environmental impact as it uses less energy, reduces waste and creates less disruption to local residents, thanks to fewer deliveries to site over a shorter period of time.

With a faster turnaround than traditional methods of construction, as well as a high-quality, standardised product, they will be available more quickly and will be more cost-effective and safer for occupants.

The partnership has made extensive efforts to make sure that the concept and approach works: Rollalong has already manufactured 120 homes and completed the first three sites at Barton Gardens, Woodlands Way and McCreery Road in Sherborne, Dorset.

Cllr Phil Alford, Cabinet Member for Housing at Wiltshire Council, said: "One of our key missions within our business plan is to deliver high-quality, attractive homes that provide residents with truly affordable housing, with reduced energy bills. 

"Not only are we doing that, but we firmly believe we're building the highest quality affordable housing in Wiltshire with the lowest rents.

"The work that has gone into securing this three-year contract with Rollalong will provide long-term benefits for residents and the environment and we are really pleased to be on this journey with Magna Housing. This work has demonstrated that when you collaborate and join forces, collective buying power is greater than working alone.

"We can't wait to see our innovative vision become a reality."

Paul Read, Magna's Executive Director for Sustainability and New Supply, said: "We have been on an exciting journey leading this approach to modular homes. I am delighted that we are now seeing our hard work turn into reality with new homes now on site and people being ready to move in.

"Our priority, in addition to creating homes designed for living, is to reduce the amount of carbon in delivery and occupation of homes. So in addition to creating great places to live, and beautiful homes, they are also more sustainable and cheaper to run, providing huge benefits for our customers. This partnership will not only make more homes available for local people but will lead the way in how we can transform the delivery of these."

Steve Chivers, Managing Director of Rollalong, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the contract by Magna Housing and Wiltshire Council to design and build these modular homes that will provide a range of high-quality, affordable housing for everyone.

"We are building the homes of the future designed for living today. It's another great opportunity to demystify modular housing and champion the benefits that this style of housing can provide in the face of a nationwide housing crisis.

"This unique partnership delivers the volumes that we require using a market tested portfolio of standard designs - we are aggregating demand through client cluster relationships and rolling out through a regional delivery model.

"We are now working with experienced clients in the South West, bringing jobs and apprenticeships and using our local supply chain partners which demonstrates our commitment to social value. 

"Local communities built by local people, using local manufacturers for local people - we are creating systemic change in our transition towards a circular economy in the South West.

"The next step for us is setting work to further reduce carbon from the way we build and live in homes."

Mary Bennell, Director of SWPA, said: "We have worked closely for a long time with Magna Housing, and more recently with Wiltshire Council, to provide the innovative procurement solutions required to meet their housing aspirations.

"The demand aggregation approach used here will provide a stable pipeline of homes, via a manufacturing process, and demonstrates benefits in terms of value for money. We hope that this becomes the preferred route for all social housing clients to deliver affordable, high-quality and energy-efficient homes."

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