Plans for more than 150 “key worker” homes approved
Innovative international housing developer BoKlok has received approval in principle to create 152 high-quality low-cost properties by Worthing Borough Council’s Planning Committee.
The company, which has its roots in Sweden and is jointly owned by Skanska and IKEA, has been working with the authority for more than a year to develop proposals for land west of Fulbeck Avenue.
The majority of the new homes will be priced so they are accessible to local working families. The remaining 30% will be allocated for rent and shared ownership.
Councillors backed the scheme at a virtual meeting of the planning committee last night (October 21, 2020), praising the innovative approach and its commitment to sustainability.
Pending agreement on final drainage plans and site conditions, construction could begin next year with the first homes on the market soon after.
Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “I am delighted my colleagues have supported in principle this innovative scheme.
“We know the high-cost of home ownership is a major concern to local families. This modern high-quality development will provide hard-working key workers the opportunity to get a foot on the property ladder without having to move out of the town. It will also provide a range of affordable options for those who want or need to rent.
“While there is still work to be done on the outstanding drainage issues, this is an extremely positive step forward on a major development for the town.”
BoKlok UK Managing Director, Graeme Culliton said: “We are delighted by this outcome and we look forward to starting construction on one of our first sites in the UK.
“We know that the demand for housing is at an all-time high, therefore offering this solution will support the council’s housing targets and provide a thriving community development.
“We have paid close attention to committee members' views regarding ecology and drainage and we are confident that our continued work with council officers will bring this to a successful conclusion.”
Councillors approved the scheme, pending agreement on site conditions as well as designing a robust drainage scheme to alleviate flooding concerns.
The proposal for 152 flats will provide 51 one bedroom and 101 two bedroom homes distributed across five blocks.
Each property will have a balcony, as well as access to landscaped community space, which includes growing pods, shared tool shed, barbeque pit and playground.
Secure cycle stores and 160 car parking spaces will be provided. A third will have live electric charging points while the remainder will be ‘cable-ready’.
The completed homes will be manufactured off-site using sustainably-sourced timber. They are then transported to the construction site for assembly with high quality IKEA fittings throughout.
Environmentally-friendly measures will be included throughout to keep the carbon footprint low, including community air source heat pumps and water saving methods to limit use to 105 litres a person per day.
Cllr Paul High, Chairman of the Planning Committee, said: “Colleagues are pleased to be able to back this scheme, recognising the benefits it will bring to providing housing to local people. There is still some work to do on drainage but I am confident that we will be able to continue our positive working relationship with BoKlok to resolve these in the coming months.”
The creation of new housing is a key part of “And Then…”, the Councils' short, sharp programme of interventions and assistance to help the communities of Adur and Worthing bounce back from the impact of lockdown.