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BuildingAW goes live: Nordic approach to homebuilding set to come to Worthing

Released: Thursday, 24 October 2019

A Nordic revolution in homebuilding could be about to take root in Worthing before spreading across the UK, says the managing director of a pioneering company.

Developing affordable pre-built homes that leaves average earners enough income to enjoy life while also being easier on the environment is the philosophy driving BoKlok UK.

The company is in discussions with Worthing Borough Council to create more than 162 sustainable homes at Fulbeck Avenue.

The announcement, the first such in the UK, created a storm of worldwide media interest earlier this year. Since then, the Council has been working with the firm on detailed plans.

Building Adur & Worthing magazine cover - November 2019

As those advance, the company has revealed to the Council's BuildingAW magazine that it plans to use the Worthing scheme as a springboard to take its approach to other parts of the country.

“We don't just build homes we invest in communities,” UK managing director, Graeme Culliton told BuildingAW.

BoKlok - which means “wise or smart living” in Swedish - is a company with roots in Sweden and is jointly owned by multinational firms Skanska and IKEA.

The firm takes a radical approach to affordability of homes, calculating house prices on what average income workers have left each month once taxes and a 'good cost of living' is taken into account.

Its production process off-site makes the construction cost much lower than traditional methods with the sustainably-sourced materials arriving at the development land 95 per cent complete.

The first BoKlok homes were completed in 1997 and so far, more than 12,000 homes have been built throughout Sweden, Finland and Norway.

Now that ethos is set to land in Worthing, with land west of Fulbeck Avenue earmarked as a good site for this high-quality modular housing.

Providing planning and other agreements are approved, it has the potential of creating three times as many quality homes as more traditional methods while also providing 30 per cent to the Council to provide homes for those on the housing waiting list.

PR19-153 - Graeme Culliton, managing director of BoKlok UK

Culliton said:

“We initially presented to Worthing Borough Council in 2017 and they were very open and supportive. I think they saw the opportunity for something unique that would help deliver better housing for people who really need it.”

BuildingAW is a bright, informal 28-page online publication which keeps residents and businesses across both areas up-to-date with all the latest development in their communities.

Features in the November edition include behind the scenes at Shoreham's new £9.5 million office block; details on the plans to bring cafe culture to Worthing's seafront; and approval for Boxpark's new beach side restaurant.

The online publication also includes regular updates on some of the major projects across Adur and Worthing which are moving forward at speed.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said:

“Creating and delivering change, pushing boundaries and exploring innovative ideas is an essential role for any local authority in challenging times.”

“This is why we are entering into a partnership with Swedish firm BoKlok to bring new homes to Worthing, looking to utilise council owned land to provide a higher density of quality new modern modular built homes that will offer local people the chance to rent or buy a more affordable home.”

“This partnership will be a first for the UK and set a standard that we hope others will follow.”

Councillor Brian Boggis, Adur District Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said:

“Away from the turbulent scenes in Westminster, across Adur we as a Council are moving forward with many of the exciting proposals set out to move our communities forward.”

“Already phase one of the redevelopment of the old Civic Centre site in Shoreham has been completed with the former car park transformed into a bright, spacious modern office block.”

“Across the road on the old Civic Centre site itself, proposals are in the pre-planning stages while on the southern side of the Brighton Road, the old 'Parcelforce' site is at last coming to life and work is well underway on the groundworks at the Free Wharf site. All in all an exciting time of positive change for the future of the district.”

The November edition of BuildingAW containing an interview with BoKlok's UK managing director, Graeme Culliton, can be found here.

See also back issues of the Council's BuildingAW magazine.

Photo: Illustration of a BoKlok development

PR19-091 + PR19-153 - Illustration of a BoKlok development

(PR19-153)

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