More Successful Bidders Announced In £60,000 Home Challenge

The drive to build homes for future generations must not be at the expense of good design, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott warned today.

John Prescott announced the successful bidders for a further four sites in his Design for Manufacture competition to construct quality homes for £60,000. He called on all housebuilders to follow the example set by the bidders and offer quality homes that are designed around the needs of people.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said, "My £60,000 home competition has proved wrong those critics who claimed you can't have both quality and quantity. People deserve decent, affordable homes with good access to jobs, public services and green spaces. But there is no reason why new homes should not also be of high quality design - innovative, attractive and focused on the needs of the people who will live in them. I congratulate the latest winners who are setting a new benchmark for design and quality and look forward to seeing their entries come alive on site next year.

"Today I have also published a new draft planning policy for housing, PPS3, as part of the Government's response to the Barker review. PPS3 reinforces the Government's commitment to good design. It urges local authorities to commit to high quality design and to use tools such as design codes to give developers and communities certainty about the quality of design expected and speed up planning decisions. PPS3 also encourages local authorities to apply our new Code for Sustainable Homes to specific sites, to drive up building standards, saving water and energy."

Following advice from an independent panel of experts, The Countryside Consortium, Westbury Homes and William Verry, have been selected by English Partnerships, the Government's national regeneration agency, to build their Design for Manufacture homes on four of the competition sites. The Countryside Consortium has been selected as the preferred developer for the Horns Cross site in Dartford, Westbury Homes for the former Park Prewett hospital site in Basingstoke, and William Verry for two sites, School Road in Hastings and Oxford Road in Aylesbury Vale.

Trevor Beattie, Corporate Strategy Director for English Partnerships, who is running the competition on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), said, "Once again our expectations have been exceeded. The submissions received in this round continue the pattern established previously by setting new standards of design, construction and energy efficiency. This is to the tremendous credit to all of the bidders, whether or not they have been allocated a site. The fact that this competition has so far seen six different bidders emerge as winners across eight sites illustrates the capability of our industry to constantly innovate on design, construction and cost efficiencies.

"There are still two more sites to be awarded but already we can see that this challenge has been crucial in increasing quality and speeding up the production of homes, and will play a major role in shaping the future of housebuilding across the entire industry."

Key features of the winning proposals chosen include:

  • William Verry – Oxford Road, Aylesbury: A distinctive S-shape single linear development designed by Make Architects incorporating two and three storey pre-fabricated timber frame homes supplied by WeberHaus of Germany that achieve exceptionally high energy efficiency and flexibility.
  • William Verry – School Road, Hastings: A clever solution to this small, sloping triangular site which creates an interesting street and mews development with communal green spaces. William Verry will use homes supplied by WeberHaus of Germany that incorporate garages with living space above, balconies and roof terraces to provide excellent views over the valley and increasing natural surveillance and a sense of safety over this new community.
  • The Countryside Consortium – Horns Cross, Dartford: A simple, clear combination of two blocks of flats and a row of houses around a single court. This proposal combines two technologies, the BUMA timber frame system from Poland with the panelised Homes Factory system. They propose very large 88 sq m £60,000 homes with a double-height glazed internal atrium which runs the length of the property to provide maximum light and solar gain. The homes are fully accessible for wheelchair users at ground floor level and have future proof solutions, including space to fit a lift.
  • Westbury Homes – Park Prewett, Basingstoke: Westbury Homes propose to further develop its Space4 advanced timber frame panel system to provide a high quality home of the future. Its £60k homes allow for adaptation, evolving from a two-bedroom property to a five-person home, to suit the needs of the owner.

The affordable homes will be pepper-potted throughout the development to create a truly mixed community. These four competition sites will see the creation of around 288 homes. At least 30 per cent of homes on each site will be built to a construction cost of £60,000. The remainder will be a mix of smaller and larger homes constructed with similar cost efficiencies. Overall, the competition across 10 sites will see the construction of more than 1,000 new properties for sale or rent.

The preferred bidders for the remaining two sites, the former Linton Hospital in Maidstone and the Rowan site in Merton, London, are expected to be announced in January 2006. Construction of the first Design for Manufacture homes is expected to start in Spring 2006.

A publication highlighting the lessons learnt from the competition, together with a public exhibition to showcase the £60,000 home designs are also planned for 2006.

Images and further details of the successful bidders are available at www.designformanufacture.info.

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