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Khan gives green light to 21-storey off-site constructed housing project in Croydon

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has approved plans for a 21-storey building in Croydon with up to 100% affordable housing.

The building, which will be constructed off-site, meaning that homes and their components are built to specification in factories and then dropped in place on-site, will be one of the tallest schemes of its kind.

This approach to building, often described as modular construction, can allow for faster construction on-site and has the potential to increase extra capacity in the industry.

The development will be at Addiscombe Grove, Croydon, and over 70% of the homes have been secured as affordable for first time buyers to purchase at a discount below the market price.

In principle, the developer has agreed to making the remaining homes available for shared ownership, making all 153 homes affordable.

Last year, the developer Pocket Living struck a deal with Khan for £25m of funding to support 1,059 new homes, a third of which are expected to be built off-site, which has helped the developer build more high density flats on brownfield sites.

It is expected that the homes will remain affordable for the lifetime of the building, with the properties being marketed to residents and workers in the borough.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: “Tackling London’s housing crisis requires bold new approaches.

“We know turning things round will take time, but off-site construction is an innovative way to speed up building the affordable homes our city needs.

“I invested in Pocket Living to help them build genuinely affordable homes that are sold to local people first.”

Nicky Gavron AM, author of the report, ‘Designed, sealed, delivered: The contribution of offsite manufactured homes to solving London’s housing crisis,’ published last summer, explained that the report had urged the mayor to provide “clear and strong leadership” in raising the awareness of the potential of off-site construction.

She called the concept an “innovative, forward-looking and exciting way to meet London’s growing housing needs.”

She said: “This is a step in the right direction and it is good to see the mayor pushing forward.”

Gavron urged him to move faster and to take on board the report's other recommendations, which include working towards defining and adopting a Manufactured Housing Design Code and looking at the potential of using public land to stimulate the OSM sector.

She went on to argue that affordable homes should include those for social rent, not just to buy.

“However, the announcement this morning shows that the mayor is listening to the London Assembly and starting to encourage the sector to take this construction method seriously,” she stated.

"It is only through using these techniques that we will be able to bridge the gap between the number of homes the sector traditionally builds and what London actually needs,” she added.

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