‘Award-winning’ Brick by Brick looking even more wooden

BARRATT HOLMES, our housing correspondent, on the latest pronouncement from Brick by Brick

Not content with being a multi-award-winning housing development company which has yet to build a single house (© Alison Butler), Brick by Brick now wants to diversify its business into… wood.

Brick by Brick’s business plan is a little wooden

In an interview with development cheerleaders Inside Housing, Colm Lacey, the council executive who moonlights as Brick by Brick’s managing director, this week revealed the ambition of setting up a timber frame construction sideline.

Lacey said, “Rather than repeatedly buying the same framing solution from the market, we are investigating whether we can deliver this element of the construction process ourselves and at the same time open up a commercial avenue for us to be able to supply other developers.”

Rookie developers Brick by Brick have been given the task of overseeing the £30million redevelopment of the Fairfield Halls, a two-year project which is at least nine months behind schedule for completion.

Award-winning: Colm Lacey

Undaunted by this award-winning record of success, Lacey blathered on about timber frames to Inside Housing: “Essentially, we’re looking for a more cost-effective way of supplying our superstructure needs, while also gaining a potential revenue benefit and promoting local employment opportunities.”

Originally due to complete 1,000 homes, of which 50 per cent were supposed to be “affordable”, Brick by Brick, which is wholly owned by Croydon Council, has so far completed no units, and it is struggling to deliver even 40 per cent non-affordable “affordable” homes. It has no plans to build any council homes.

More than 60 per cent of the homes Brick by Brick has planning permission for will go on the private housing market.

Croydon Council has meanwhile extended the company’s building target to 3,000 homes.

The company’s business plan shows that it will require £164.8million funding in 2018-2019, made up of £123.6million in borrowing from the council and £41.2million of equity investment.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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6 Responses to ‘Award-winning’ Brick by Brick looking even more wooden

  1. No, No, No. Local councils, or any type of government come to that, and ‘commercial avenues’ just do not go together. This crazy idea must be strangled at birth.

  2. 33,614 residential properties are already at risk of flooding in the Borough. Croydon is the 4th worst area in England and Wales for surface water flooding, perhaps they’d be better building ‘affordable’ BOATS.

  3. Dave Scott says:

    How can a company that, apparently, has built nothing win an award? Just sounds to me like a jolly back-slapping exercise in self-promotion and importance.

  4. Perhaps it’s all a cunning plan, go off to Cannes and sell our back gardens to property developers so they can sell high rise flats to the rich, then develop a Timber company to build sheds along the Purley Way to meet their social housing commitments, then call them “affordable’. Worthy of Baldrick!

  5. veeanne2015 says:

    Was Colm Lacey wearing his Council or Brick by Brick hat when he said about looking into setting up this timber frame construction company, and ‘opening up a commercial avenue to supply other developers’ ?
    This would take a long time and a lot of money to establish, and, as Brick by Brick is council-owned, then it is residents who would be paying the cost with no benefit for years, if ever!
    So, what’s new ?

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