Worthing will receive a sprinkle of Scandinavian ingenuity after a flat pack housing company part-owned by IKEA agreed to invest in the town.
Swedish housing company BoKlok UK, which is jointly owned by Skanska and IKEA, announced today (February 4) it plans to build 150 low-cost, sustainable homes on land west of Fulbeck Avenue.
Should the planning application be approved, BoKlok homes will be priced to make home ownership more accessible for local families.
Worthing Borough Council would retain control of 30 per cent of the units - a council report in June said they would be bought by the council at cost - to be used as social housing.
According to June's report, 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 the company calculates 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.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I very much welcome the movement forward on this deal with a groundbreaking firm which could bring real benefits to local families.
“In this current market it's extremely tough for local people who are in full-time work to get on the housing market. This proposal could change that, giving these hard-working individuals a genuine chance to buy their own home without having to move out of the town.
“The fact these homes can be built quickly, to a high quality and meet top environmental standards makes this an extremely attractive proposition.
“With an application now submitted, everyone will have the chance to examine the details of the proposal ahead of the planning committee making a decision in the coming months.”
BoKlok homes are manufactured off-site using high quality IKEA fittings. The company said this allows low and predictable costs, with minimum waste.
They are then transported to the construction site for assembly.
The first developments are expected to be completed in 2021, according to the council.
In addition to Worthing, BoKlok has signed deals to bring forward proposals in Bristol and Peacehaven. Together these sites will provide around 400 homes, subject to planning permission.
BoKlok president Jonas Spangenberg said: “We are delighted to meet this first milestone for our UK business. We are grateful to our partners and the local authorities we are working with who have been supportive in sharing our vision of sustainable, quality, low cost homes for all.”