Back to News
5 December 2005
Countryside Properties' consortium has been the successful bidder for one of four latest sites in the Design for Manufacture competition which is being managed by English Partnerships, on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, with the objective of constructing quality homes for £60,000. John Prescott called on all housebuilders to follow the example set by the bidders and offer quality homes that are designed around the needs of people.
My £60,000 home competition has proved wrong those critics who claimed you can't have both quality and quantity. People deserve decent, affordable homes with good access to jobs, public services and green spaces. But there is no reason why new homes should not also be of high quality design - innovative, attractive and focused on the needs of the people who will live in them. I congratulate the latest winners who are setting a new benchmark for design and quality and look forward to seeing their entries come alive on site next year.
Following advice from an independent panel of experts, The Countryside Consortium, Westbury Homes and William Verry, have been selected by English Partnerships, the Government's national regeneration agency, to build their Design for Manufacture homes on four of the competition sites.
The Countryside Consortium has been selected as the preferred developer for the Horns Cross site in Dartford, Westbury Homes for the former Park Prewett hospital site in Basingstoke, and William Verry for two sites, School Road in Hastings and Oxford Road in Aylesbury Vale.
Michael Hill, Business Development Director of Countryside Properties said, "We are delighted to have been selected by English Partnerships as preferred developer for Horns Cross, Dartford. This has been our first submission under the Design for Manufacture Programme; our selection reflects the strengths of our Consortium, which includes Hyde Housing Association and PCKO Architects, BUMA and The Homes Factory. This scheme will enable our Consortium to build on the work that we have been doing as one of English Partnership's three Developer Partners on the London Wide Initiative to promote high quality sustainable homes at affordable costs in London and the Thames Gateway."
Trevor Beattie, Corporate Strategy Director for English Partnerships, said, "Once again our expectations have been exceeded. The submissions received in this round continue the pattern established previously by setting new standards of design, construction and energy efficiency. This is to the tremendous credit to all of the bidders, whether or not they have been allocated a site. The fact that this competition has so far seen six different bidders emerge as winners across eight sites illustrates the capability of our industry to constantly innovate on design, construction and cost efficiencies.
"There are still two more sites to be awarded but already we can see that this challenge has been crucial in increasing quality and speeding up the production of homes, and will play a major role in shaping the future of housebuilding across the entire industry."
Key features of the winning proposal from the Countryside Consortium include:
The Countryside Consortium - Horns Cross, Dartford: A simple, clear combination of two blocks of flats and a row of houses around a single court. This proposal combines two technologies, the BUMA timber frame system from Poland with the panelised Homes Factory system. Very large 88 sq m £60,000 homes are proposed with a double-height glazed internal atrium which runs the length of the property to provide maximum light and solar gain. The homes are fully accessible for wheelchair users at ground floor level and have future proof solutions, including space to fit a lift.
Total number of homes to be built: 37
Total number of £60k homes to be built: 13 (equivalent to 35%)
Total number of social housing: 11
0.54 ha site within the Thames Gateway Growth Area
Equivalent density of 68 homes per ha
The remainder will be a mix of smaller and larger homes will be constructed with similar cost efficiencies. Overall, the competition across 10 sites will see the construction of more than 1,000 new properties for sale or rent.
The preferred bidders for the remaining two sites, the former Linton Hospital in Maidstone and the Rowan site in Merton, London, are expected to be announced in January 2006. Construction of the first Design for Manufacture homes is expected to start in Spring 2006. A publication highlighting the lessons learnt from the competition, together with a public exhibition to showcase the £60,000 home designs are also planned for 2006.
Images and further details of Horns Cross are available at www.designformanufacture.info/page.aspx?pointerid=1B40F2863F0D4B479FAA7896499CB9F0
Notes to editors
1. The Design for Manufacture competition is the Government's challenge to the house-building industry to build a home for a construction cost of £60,000. Over 100 companies took part in the first stage of the competition, with 33 bidders shortlisted to the second stage in June. On 9 August 2005, the Deputy Prime Minister unveiled the nine successful organisations and consortia who had met the Design for Manufacture challenge and were invited to bid to build on one or more of the 10 publicly-owned sites available through the competition, generating over 1,000 new homes. For further information, log onto: www.designformanufacture.info.
2. All submissions to stage 3 of the competition were initially evaluated by a panel of technical staff from English Partnerships, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and consultants. These evaluations were then reviewed by an independent panel of judges appointed by the ODPM, who also heard presentations by each of the bidders and made recommendations on which submissions were suitable for each site. English Partnerships selected the bidder it felt most appropriate for each site, taking into consideration additional factors such as development capacity and financial offers for the land.
3. Bidders invited to bid for sites in the final stage of the competition are: Barratt Developments Ltd, Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, George Wimpey UK, northern edge, Redrow Plc, SIXTYK Consortium, The Countryside Consortium, Westbury, and William Verry. Not all bidders have bid for all sites.
4. English Partnerships is running the Design for Manufacture competition - the challenge to build a home with a construction cost of £60,000 - on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. It takes no part in the sale or allocation of homes for the Design for Manufacture competition sites. The allocation of any shared ownership/social rented homes is made by the housing association on each site. The sale of private homes is arranged by the developer and their marketing team on each site.
5. All developers on English Partnerships sites will be monitored using the Building Research Establishment's (BRE) CALIBRE method, which measures and benchmarks who is doing what, with what added value in the entire design and construction process. Developers will also be required to use Housing Forum Key Performance Indicators and BRE's SmartWaste toolkit to measure reduction in construction waste. A review of the initial lessons learned from the competition will be published in the New Year to help the house building sector to improve quality and efficiency.
Back to News
Information correct as at 05/12/2005