Rumours abound that Swedish retail giant Ikea is to make a move into the British housing market.
It has been reported by the Financial Times and the BBC that members of Worthing Council, who represent the residents of the Sussex seaside town that once played home to permanently pissed off playwright Harold Pinter, have agreed in principle to let Ikea build 162 new houses in the town.
More specifically, the council is said to have negotiated a deal with building merchants BoKlok, which is owned by Ikea and construction company Skanska.
This isn’t the first time that BoKlok has attempted to enter the UK’s choppier-than-ever housing scene; a pre-fab scheme intended to roll out on Tyneside in 2007 was abandoned in the aftermath of the following year’s game-changing financial crisis.
BoKlok, the BBC says, is keen that its houses aren’t lazily assumed to be the flat-pack solutions usually offered by Ikea, describing the new housing stock as the result of a “high-quality off-site manufacturing process,” allowing the company to “assemble them quickly in a safe and sustainable environment.”
Of the 162 planned abodes, the council will take possession of 30 per cent of the stock, which will then be used for social housing.
If the deal between BoKlok and Worthing goes through, building could start in September 2020, with the first homes “dispatched, delivered and erected” by January 2021.
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