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Government rethinks volumetric housing support

Posted: Monday, April 1st, 2024

The government is reviewing its policies on modern methods of construction in light of a crisis in the volumetric house-building sector, The Construction Index reported.

Housing minister Lee Rowley disclosed the review in a holding response to a report from the House of Lords on volumetric housing production.

He needs more time to provide a fuller response, he said, because government policy and support for the sector was being reassessed.

A report from the House of Lords built environment committee in January said: “The government’s approach to modern methods of construction (MMC) is in disarray. Millions of pounds of public money have been invested, but the money has not been backed by a coherent strategy and set of measurable objectives.”

The House of Lords committee enquiry came on the back of the collapse of Ilke Homes and House by Urban Splash last year, coupled with the closure of Legal & General’s prefab housing factory.

Since then, Modulous has entered administration, Sheffield-based Lighthouse has filed intent to appoint administrators and TopHat has mothballed its massive new Corby factory before production had even started.

Housing minister Lee Rowley wrote to Lord Moylan, chair of the Lords built environment committee, with what he acknowledged was just a holding response, despite it having been eight weeks since Moylan’s report was published.

The high-profile failure of the 21st-century prefab revolution has come despite government support and taxpayer loans to failed enterprises.

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