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Flat-pack plan for new homes

PUBLISHED: 17:59 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 July 2010

Dominic Bareham

A SOLUTION to the lack of affordable housing is high on Great Yarmouth Borough Council's shopping list- and the answer may lie in IKEA-style “flat pack housing.

A SOLUTION to the lack of affordable housing is high on Great Yarmouth Borough Council's shopping list- and the answer may lie in IKEA-style “flat pack housing.”

Councillor Bob Peck, who sits on the council's community housing board, told the cabinet meeting last Wednesday (January 23) one way of tackling the lack of affordable accommodation would be to build similar estates to the Swedish superstore's “Boklok” timber framed properties.

The idea behind the scheme is to provide homes for people on lower incomes between £15,000 and £35,000 and the first batch of 93 Scandinavian-style homes are due to open in Gateshead in March.

Prospective buyers can choose between one and two bedroom flats ranging in price from £100,000 to £125,000, or two bedroom townhouses for between £132,500 and £139,500 or three bedroom townhouses costing up to £150,000.

The homes have already proved popular throughout Scandinavia where IKEA and Skanska began developing the properties during the 1990s and Live Smart is already looking to develop four or five other sites across the country.

But Neil Shaefer, spokesman for Live Smart, said no approach had been made to the firm to build new housing in the Yarmouth area, but it would be interested in discussing the possibility of developing the properties with councillors and officers.

“Live Smart @ Home is looking for other sites in the UK and we would be interested in discussing it with them. We would invite them to discuss it with us. Once we know that there is land available then we would be interested in developing them.”

Cllr Peck's proposal was the result of a report into choice based lettings by the community advisory group which suggested rural areas should be regarded as a priority for affordable housing so those living in villages such as Ormesby, Filby and Martham were not forced to move to urban areas to find housing.

Labour councillor Mick Castle said a Great Yarmouth Housing Corporation should be formed to address the lack of cheaper homes.

He said: “These properties represent a way forward particularly as we have seen developments of less than 20 properties where there is no affordable housing at all.”

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