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.
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.
Modular Offsite Construction - Rollalong
"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.
Many of us have been shocked by how the current government has been able to remove fundamental protections and expand undemocratic measures (refugees being deemed 'illegal', the right to protest taken away, the independence of the electoral committee hollowed out and FPTP being expanded further to future Mayoral elections).
Responding to new statistics that show the number of people in England waiting to start routine NHS hospital treatment has grown to a record high of 6.4 million and that A&E waiting times are the worst on record, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:
"Blaming this backlog solely on the pandemic is an excuse that just won't wash. The Conservatives' have been running health services into the ground for years.
"After years of neglect, health services have been plunged into crisis, with cancer patients waiting months for treatment and families facing deadly delays for an ambulance in an emergency.
"Years of driving the NHS into the ground and taking it for granted is putting patients lives at risk.
It's high time the Government hatch a serious plan to turn this chronic decline around, or else more pain and misery will be coming down the track for people up and down the country who deserve better."
The Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government for presiding over an ambulance waiting time crisis "spiralling out of control", as new figures show that people across the country are facing increasingly dangerous delays.
A Parliamentary Question tabled by the party's health spokesperson Daisy Cooper has revealed that people in need of emergency medical attention, are waiting almost twenty minutes longer on average than they would have two years ago.
Or in legalese: "To remove from the Orders the exemption from charging for disabled badge holders, invalid carriages, vehicles in lieu of invalid carriages and drivers with a severe disability issued with a note from Wiltshire Council."
This is part of a series of measures to increase parking charges in the county, some of which require traffic orders. These are now out to consultation. Should you wish to comment then go to the WC website here.
You may have read on Tuesday that our prime minister said soaring supermarket prices were mainly due to international fuel supply problems , adding: "The cost of chickens is crazy.
Except it isn't
The British Poultry Council who one assumes knows a bit about rearing and selling chickens said in response on Twitter "It is not 'mainly fuel' that's the problem, It is everything. Input costs like water, labour, energy and feed are all up," .Citing "ongoing Brexit pressures", the industry body added: "Combined with trade barriers, shipping delays for machinery plus a skills shortage (vets and lorry drivers), this all adds a cost that has to be recovered through the marketplace."
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