Bristol City Council to consider sale of land for modular homes in Lockleaze to help meet affordable housing targets: Indicative image of Bonnington Walk, Lockleaze

26 Feb 2020

Bristol City Council to consider sale of land for modular homes in Lockleaze to help meet affordable housing targets

Next month (3 March), Bristol City Council’s Cabinet is being asked to consider a proposal to dispose of disused land in Lockleaze to enable Legal & General Modular Homes to deliver over 180 new modular homes, with a focus on affordable.

Bonnington Walk in Lockleaze is a former allotment gardens and has been allocated for housing in Bristol’s Local Plan for over 20 years.   It is one of 43 sites the council has made available for new housing since 2016.

The council and its partner The Bristol Housing Festival is suggesting that the land is developed using modern methods of construction, as an innovative solution to help address the shortage of housing in north Bristol.

Modular homes that are built using modern methods of construction can be of higher quality and built to last, as a result of the factory environment in which the components are created and strict quality control.

Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We’re doing everything we can to accelerate the building of housing across the city, especially council housing. Working in partnership with Legal & General Modular Homes means homes will be manufactured offsite and completed onsite, allowing much needed family homes to be built in days instead of months.

“It is particularly important to be building homes that people can afford, and I am really pleased that there's a commitment for up to 51% of the homes to be affordable through a mixture of homes for council housing and shared ownership. This will far exceed the council’s affordable housing guidelines for developments outside the central area of the city.”

Jez Sweetland, Project Director for the Bristol Housing Festival, added: “We need a revolution in housing design and construction, but we also need to transform housing finance and affordability to better support the needs of local communities. Legal & General Modular Homes are at the forefront of precision manufacturing, and it’s great that our partnership means we can showcase these ideas in Bristol.”  

As well as providing much needed homes, the proposed development at Bonnington Walk will see improvements made to adjoining areas of the site as part of a long term plan for investing in Lockleaze. New allotment patches and accessible green open space will be introduced to complement the existing community orchard, a new local community hub will be built, and walking, cycling and road improvements will be made.  

The council has been working in collaboration with Legal & General Modular Homes on the design of the modular homes for Bonnington Walk, and is currently finalising terms and preparing plans for the submission of a full planning application. Local consultation on the development is underway and, subject to approvals, it is hoped that building works will commence onsite later in the year.

Rosie Toogood, CEO at Legal & General Modular Homes, said: “Bristol City Council has an ambitious strategy to deliver thousands of new homes across the city, and we are delighted to be collaborating with them at Bonnington Walk.  Our proposals will deliver a thriving community of over 180 homes, with a commitment to 51% affordable, and a place that is both desirable to live and an innovative step change in residential scheme development in the UK.”

“What we are doing at Legal & General Modular Homes is ground breaking. Our advanced technology and innovative design delivers high quality homes incorporating improvements in building fabric and low carbon technologies, ensuring all our homes come with an Energy Performance Certificate A, which means they are in the top 1% for energy efficiency in the country.

“We are determined that Bonnington Walk will be an exemplar of innovation and sustainability.”

The council’s ambition is to accelerate the delivery of new housing over the next five years, creating 1,000 new homes through various delivery routes, including a number of offsite manufacturing projects.  In November 2019, the council won a prestigious national award for its approach to modular housing in St George.