London Assembly Calls For More Offsite Homes

A new report, published on behalf of the London Assembly Planning Committee, looks at the contribution of offsite manufactured homes to solving London’s housing crisis.

The report, which acknowledges LHC’s pioneering role in developing the first offsite housing framework, sets out four recommendations to the Mayor, which include:

  • Provide clear and strong leadership in raising the awareness of Offsite Manufacture’s (OSM) potential.
  • Work towards defining and adopting a Manufactured Housing Design Code.
  • Look at the potential of using TfL-owned land to stimulate the OSM sector.
  • Set up a dedicated OSM-specific procurement framework for London. 

The report highlights that London needs 50,000 new homes a year to meet its growing needs and to reach this target, "an innovative approach is vital".

LHC’s Director, John Skivington, commented: “We’re pleased that LHC has been recognised in the report, but more importantly it highlights that much more needs to be done in London to meet housing targets.

“LHC launched the first offsite housing framework two years ago, which has delivered a number of housing projects using both panelised and volumetric systems. We need to continue to raise awareness to the benefits that offsite construction can offer to the public sector in order to deliver on London’s housing targets.”

Nicky Gavron AM, report lead, said: “Meeting London’s housebuilding target is a huge task and traditional construction techniques will only take us so far. Offsite Manufactured Housing is an innovative, forward-looking and exciting way to close the gap. These buildings are high quality and outstanding in terms of performance. Their construction is more environmentally-friendly than traditional construction methods and they are a far cry from their prefabricated predecessors. Few will disagree that using vacant public land to build homes quickly and with less pollution and disruption could be great news for London, tailored to demands at each and every price point.

“A lack of a single design standard or mass market demand has held back the sector’s growth. This is a once in a generation opportunity to work collaboratively with investors, developers and policy makers at a time where experts, central and local government are all calling for the same thing to happen. The Mayor is ideally placed to respond to the report’s recommendations and call to action.”

Tony Woods, LHC Technical Manager added: “It’s great to see the London Assembly emphasising the role that offsite construction can play in order to meet London’s housing target. At LHC we have worked hard to raise awareness to this method of construction and have recently launched the Offsite Innovation Centre at BRE’s Innovation Park, Watford to showcase the benefits of offsite. Public sector organisations can greatly benefit from adopting this construction method, and our offsite procurement frameworks offer an efficient route to market.”

Read the full report here.

Find out more about LHC’s offsite frameworks at www.lhc.gov.uk/nh1.