Goldman Sachs-backed developer signals move towards build-to-rent and co-living

TopHat has been granted planning permission for a 183-home scheme in Chatham, which will involve it building apartments for the first time.


TopHat’s proposed Kitchener Barracks scheme, in Chatham, Kent

The modular housebuilder will build three blocks, each four storeys in height, consisting of 96 one-and two-bedroom homes, and of which 32 will be for affordable tenures.

The scheme will also see Tophat repurpose the early 20th century Kitchener barracks buildings to provide a further 68 apartments and 19 two and four-bedroom houses.

A spokesperson said the expansion of TopHat’s product range to include apartments “signals the company’s move to delivering alternative residential assets for investors, such as build-to-rent and co-living schemes.”

In total, TopHat is planning to deliver 300 new homes across the 4.8-acre Kitchener Barracks site, with work expected to start in the new year.

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Tophat, which is backed by a £75m investment from Goldman Sachs, is aiming to build a manufacturing platform capable of building 3,500 homes by 2025.


In August it announced the appointment of supercar industry executive Paul Buddin as chief executive.

TopHat is also a founder member of the new trade body for the modular housing sector, Make Modular, launched last week.