Ikea and partner Skanska have won approval to build 162 new flats in Worthing, with the local council granting permission for the pair's BoKlok joint venture to go ahead and unpack the massive cardboard boxes and begin construction.
Worthing council is leasing the land it owns to BoKlok for use, with Ikea and Skanska paying it a ground rent for the site, and the terms giving the council 30 per cent of the finished units to rent out on an affordable basis when done.
And they ought to be quite affordable too, as the build is using off-site manufacturing (do not under any circumstances call them prefabs) to do the bulk of the building work, with the finished factory-built chunks – including a fitted Ikea kitchen – assembled in place, thanks to what BoKlok calls its "industrialised manufacturing process" that keeps costs in check and stops people having to get so much plaster on their boots.
Worthing councillor Kevin Jenkins said: "In this current market it's extremely tough for local people who are in full-time work to get on the housing market. This proposal could change that, giving these hard-working individuals a genuine chance to buy their own home without having to move out of the town." [Guardian]