MMC builder says latest contract on Kent site takes its South east pipeline of work to 1,600 homes

Modular housebuilder Ilke has been picked by the Riverside Group to build nearly 450 homes on a 21-acre site in Kent.

Ilke was chosen by the Liverpool-based housing association following a procurement exercise run by EN Procure, and is now working with Riverside to draw up a reserved matters planning application for submission in the next month.

Ilke is planning to deliver 449 homes on the site including a mix of homes and flats ranging from one- to four bed-properties, with tenures including social rent, shared ownership and build-to-rent. Ilke is being employed to win planning and carrying out the development of the site as well as deliver the housing modules from its timber frame factory in Knaresborough. Ilke said that 416 of the homes will be built using full category 1 volumetric modular build in its factory, with the rest of the apartments built by Ilke using “other forms of MMC”.

Ilke Westwood Riverside scheme

If Thanet Council grants planning for the scheme, the aim is for construction to start on site early next year. Ilke says the homes will achieve an EPC ‘A’ rating – meaning they meet the stipulations of the 2025 Future Homes Standard.

Riverside Group recently became one of the UK’s largest housing associations, with 75,000 homes under management, following a merger with South east-based One Housing.

Tom Heathcote, executive director of development at Ilke Homes, said working with Ilke would therefore help the Riverside Group “future-proof their investment from rapidly changing building regulations and government guidelines.”

He said: “We look forward to working with both local planning officials and other stakeholders to progress the proposals through planning to deliver a truly sustainable and well-designed community that will be providing much-needed, high-quality housing for the area.”

The contract comes after Ilke last month announced it had appointed former retail expert David Scott to the role of chief operating officer at the firm as it looks to quadruple its output to 4,000 homes a year. It today said the latest contract meant it now had a pipeline of 1,600 homes in the South east alone.

In December the loss-making modular start-up raised £100m in further equity investment designed to allow its expansion to proceed.