Leeds Trailers is working with clients active in the UK’s modular housing market. Modular housing—or prefab construction—uses repeated sections called modules. Companies manufacture them in factories offsite, and they deliver them on specialist HGV trailers to a building site for assembly.

Since modular housing is growing in importance, we’ve assembled this list of key developments in the sector.

 

Modular housing and fast food outlets

 

Modular buildings can be assembled very quickly, and this makes them popular with fast food companies. UK takeaway outlets are increasing in number; recent research suggests there are more than 56,000 takeaways nationwide.

 

The future of UK fast food outlets—Wendy’s enters the scene 

 

US burger chain Wendy’s is opening their first UK branches in 2020. Although it has never appeared in the UK before, Wendy’s is the third-largest burger chain behind McDonald’s and Burger King.

Up to 20 Wendy’s locations could appear in the UK. The company merged with American competitor Arby’s in 2008, and currently has more than 6,700 restaurants across the world.

Abigail Pringle, chief development officer for Wendy’s, said Wendy’s is confident it can disrupt the dominance of McDonald’s and Burger King.

 

The rise of modular housing in domestic construction projects 

Prefabricated construction in the UK has been increasing since 2013, with several key developments to consider.

 

Leeds led the way for Yorkshire in April 2018 

 

Last year, UK insurer Legal & General launched an affordable housing business. It aims to provide 3,000 new homes a year within four years.

The business launch is Legal and General’s latest entry into the UK housing market. The insurer was already investing approximately £1.5 billion in the UK’s build-to-rent sector. L&G sites can be found in cities like Bristol, Edinburgh, Brighton and Leeds.

L&G aims to have 6,000 build-to-rent homes in planning, development or operation by the end of 2019.

 

Knaresborough’s first eight modular houses by Ilke Homes 

 

English manufacturer Ilke Homes started to produce Knaresborough’s first ‘factory houses’ in 2018.

Their factory produces eight houses per day; following manufacture, these are delivered by lorry to the build site. The factory reduces British housebuilding times from 40 weeks to ten days.

James Brokenshire, the housing secretary at the time, said the factory would help the government meet its annual target of 300,000 new homes in England.

 

Ilke Homes continued to wow in 2019

 

In May 2019, Ilke Homes and housing developer Places for People signed a deal for 750 modular homes.

Ilke Homes will send 500 homes to existing Places for People sites. The other 250 are reserved for future affordable modular housing schemes.

The deal is a significant success for Ilke Homes. More home manufacture can be expected; their factory is able to build more than 2,000 modular homes per year.

 

Newton Aycliffe’s first milestone in modular housing 

 

Tolent, a contractor based in Gateshead, has recently delivered its first modular housing project.

The contractor delivered two homes to Newton Gateshead, where they assembled them in the space of a day. Ilke Homes produced the buildings—including the ground floors, first floors and roof sections—as separate units before assembly.

Tolent’s regional director Chris Price spoke positively about the modular housing, highlighting the reduced impact on the surrounding community.

 

Croydon’s 44-storey prefab block 

 

Over 540 prefab flats are to be built opposite East Croydon Station, on the site of the former Essex House.

The finished structure will include rooftop gardens for residents on the 27th and 43rd floors. There will also be an enclosed winter garden on the mezzanine floor.

Once completed, the tower will be the largest example of prefab construction in the world. However, there are already plans for an even taller structure in Lansdowne Road.

 

Worthing turns to IKEA for housing 

 

Worthing Council has made a deal for 162 flat-pack homes.

BoKlok—a partnership between Ikea and Swedish developer Skanska—produced the homes. The deal marks the first time BoKlok has built houses in the UK, although it has already built several homes in Sweden, Finland and Norway.

Each home has a low environmental impact, as well as an affordable 25-year mortgage.

 

Hull MP champions modular housing 

 

Emma Hardy has called on the government to increase its investment in factory-made modular homes.

The MP highlighted Hull’s industrial base and local knowledge, and said modular homes were the future of housing thanks to their low cost and energy efficiency.

Kit Malthouse, Housing Minister at the time, said housing was the government’s chief domestic priority before defending their record on housing.

 

Bristol calling for more collaboration in modular housing 

 

Bristol—along with several other cities—is exploring the possibility of pooling demand for homes to encourage factory-built housing.

Marvin Rees, the mayor of Bristol, said nine major cities discussed the topic. He has also said that while modern construction methods can increase new home supply, cities must work at scale for it to be productive.

Bristol has announced they will be working with BoKlok to create modular housing schemes. They will also be working with ZEDPods, a modular housing firm derived from the off-site scheme BEDZed.

 

Companies embracing modular housing

 

A range of companies—including modular specialists and conventional house builders—are setting up warehouses to produce modular housing.

Examples include Countryside Homes, which is building a factory in Warrington, and housebuilder Persimmon, which has opened a prefab factory in Birmingham.

Meanwhile, Barratt Homes had 10% of its output factory in built in 2017. It aims to increase this to 20% by 2020.


The UK’s domestic modular housing sector is growing rapidly; if you’re looking for a fast, reliable transport partner, Leeds Trailers are a great choice.

As part of our trailer range we offer specialist HGV trailers, including extendable trailers suitable for modular housing transport. We can also provide fast, flexible hire contracts as required. Moreover, Leeds Trailers has in-depth experience in supporting clients with modular housing projects. We have worked on both fast food and domestic housing projects.

For more information give us a call today on 01924 420 646, or fill out our contact form.