Through the partnership, it is receiving an £85m grant to deliver 1,724 additional affordable housing starts by 31 March 2022.
Two years on, and Craig Luttman, Deputy Group Director of Development and Sales at L&Q reflects that “the partnership has made it possible for us to provide more affordable housing to a broader range of young families across the Midlands, south east England and in the north west with Trafford Housing Trust. The clarity and the certainty on the forward availability of the funding is a big part of this – it has enabled us to accelerate schemes that would otherwise have been difficult to deliver.”
L&Q has been able to use the funding, alongside its established land portfolio, to facilitate the provision of more affordable homes, especially shared ownership homes. “Saxon Reach, our development in Milton Keynes, is a great example of this,” comments Craig. “Nearly 70% of the new homes that we are building will be available either for sub-market rent or for shared ownership, which is in particularly strong demand in Milton Keynes.”
L&Q shares Homes England’s belief in the importance of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to grow the sector and deliver homes more quickly, in a more environmentally sensitive way. The certainty of funding from the strategic partnership has given L&Q the flexibility to participate in schemes involving MMC, such as the three-year Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH) project.
Bringing together Barratt Developments PLC, Stewart Milne Group, Forster Roofing, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and the Manufacturing Technology Centre, along with L&Q, the AIMCH project aims to tackle the challenges facing the housing sector, from the skills shortage, to poor productivity and low affordability. It also hopes to become a major player in the housing sector by identifying and developing the industrialised offsite solutions needed to meet current and future house building demands.
It is expected that AIMCH will result in new digital design tools, manufacturing advancements, improved near-to-market offsite systems and lean site processes. The ultimate goal of the project is to support the sector by delivering the 120,000 extra homes the Government estimates need to be built each year, by the same or less cost than traditional craft methods.
Through the strategic partnership, 100% of the homes that L&Q are building itself are using MMC. In addition, through the AIMCH programme L&Q are trialling a variety of additional offsite manufactured components at 25 homes at L&Q’s Saxon Reach.