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.
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.
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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