Seventeen new modular homes in Darlington are all ready for their new residents, after contractors assembled and completed the homes on site in just a few weeks.
Homes England, the government’s housing agency, contributed grant funding towards the cost of the new homes, which are a mixture of Affordable Rent and Rent to Buy properties.
Though these three bedroom houses have a traditional brick-built appearance, they are actually constructed from three main ‘modules’ which were built in a factory run by Ilke Homes in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire and then brought to Darlington on low loader trucks and craned into position.
Each home needed 28 days for the foundations to be prepared, while each of the three ‘modules’ which make up the house took around 28 days to be built in Ilke’s factory.
Overall the new homes at Central Park took 34 weeks (including factory time) to complete, which is significantly quicker than traditional construction methods.
In a more normal working environment, in a year unaffected by COVID-19 and the resulting reduced workforce and social distancing, this timescale would have been even shorter.
The homes sit on the large Central Park development being brought forward by Keepmoat Homes just a few minutes’ walk from Darlington town centre.
Darlington hit the headlines recently when the Government announced it was creating a new base for HM Treasury in the town, so the spotlight is likely to fall on the quality and cost of housing available.
There are 13 three bed and 4 two bedroom houses on Karbon’s development of Ilke homes. The ‘Thetford’ house type is a three bedroom house over three storeys. The ground floor has a large open plan living space, leading out through French doors to the back garden.
On the first floor there are two good size bedrooms and a family bathroom, and on the second floor is the master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, and a handsome dormer window looking out over the local area.
Natasha Ryan, 26, has just moved into a Thetford home with her partner Joseph, 25. She works for the NHS as a health care assistant in operating theatres, so has had a busy and demanding year, but is now on maternity leave with a baby expected any time now.
After just three weeks in their new home, Natasha appreciates not needing to have the heating on, because the house is so well insulated. She said her favourite part of the house is the open plan living space.
She said: “It’s very warm here – we only have the heating on for an hour in the morning, then it stays warm. The sun beams through the doors.”
“I like the downstairs, with the French doors, but the whole house is lovely.”
Shaun Nixon, development contracts officer at Karbon, was on site to see Natasha and Joseph’s house assembled, along with the neighbouring homes and was impressed with the speed and efficiency of the assembly process.
He said: “We knew about the Ilke homes before we got on site, and were impressed with the quality of the work done in the factory.
“It’s been great to see the new homes assembled, and for them to be completed in such a short space of time. We hope all the new residents will be very happy there.”
Ian Prescott, Land and Partnerships director: “Keepmoat strives to be at the forefront of innovation in housing delivery and following our immensely successful Healthy New Towns scheme at Red Hall in Darlington, we are delighted to now be delivering off site manufactured homes for Karbon Homes at our major Central Park regeneration project close to the town centre.
“Our partnership with Karbon Homes has been ongoing for over 20 years and together we have delivered many hundreds of much needed high quality affordable homes across the North East.”
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