How can MMC Help Councils Deliver Sustainable Homes?
North Somerset Council has made development progress to delivering 425 new high-quality, sustainable and affordable homes in Weston-super-Mare. How is MMC being implemented to help to improve the efficiency of the houses?

A build lease agreement was signed last month by the council and its chosen developer Keepmoat to deliver the homes near Locking. Part of the Parklands Village development, the scheme will be called ‘Winterstoke Gate’.

Keepmoat is required to build at least 85 homes annually, and the scheme is expected to be fully complete by spring 2029. Piling work has already started and it is planned that the first homes will be habitable by spring 2024.

A total of 139 homes will be zero-carbon buildings

The project is focusing on quality, sustainability, and the use of modern technology. Through the development, the council will deliver 30 per cent affordable housing, 85 adaptable or accessible homes, 139 homes (around a third of this development) will be zero carbon buildings, and electric vehicle charging to all homes.

Built using MMC, the homes are built using off-site, precision-manufactured components to improve the efficiency and quality of the build process.

Cllr Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s Executive Member for Spatial Planning, Placemaking and Economy, explained that this project is key to setting a new benchmark: “It’s great to see the progress of this important development that we hope will set a new standard for housing in North Somerset.”

He continued to express that it is vital for local authorities to lead by example: “This scheme demonstrates that it is possible to deliver large numbers of homes at the same time as securing quality and improved sustainability while delivering much-needed affordable housing for local people.”

By delivering on the council’s land, at an allocated site, we are helping to reduce pressure for speculative development at unplanned and less sustainable locations.

Government funding has supported the project

Funding has been provided to support the first phase of 425 homes, with a £9.8 million grant from the UK Government’s Local Authority Accelerated Construction Fund administered by Homes England.

This money has helped to pay for strategic utilities and early groundworks, as well as contributing to the North South Link Road which will be the main route through Parklands Village.

Amanda Bishop, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat, revealed that: “We’re delighted to be working with North Somerset Council to deliver 425 high quality new, sustainable homes on the Parklands Village development.”

This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work in partnership with the council to create what will become a thriving new community.

The project is the first major residential project to be progressed by the council as part of its development strategy, adopted in February 2021.

Outlined in the strategy, it is stated that the focus of the council is on becoming a net zero carbon council by 2030 and having an energy-efficient built environment.

Projects like this one will be crucial in ensuring the support of economic growth and new homes, helping boost the local community and tackle the housing crisis.