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NHBC CEO visits pioneering Bellway development in Milton Keynes

NHBC CEO Steve Wood visited a trail-blazing Bellway development in Milton Keynes on Wednesday (16 November) to see the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) being used on site.

Bellway is delivering 160 homes at Tattenhoe Park, after being selected by Homes England as part of a project to try to speed up the construction process for new homes.

The development comprises 120 homes being assembled on site, using timber frame panels in place of traditional breeze blocks behind the brickwork, while the remaining 40 new properties are modular homes which are built off site in a factory environment, before being installed on site and connected to mains services. Both systems are designed to make the build process quicker and more sustainable, whilst enhancing energy efficiency.

During the visit, Steve and NHBC colleagues, Toby Phillips, Regional Director and Daniel Hicks Technical Research Manager, were given a tour of the development, as well as a series of presentations from the Bellway team and Donaldson Timber Systems, which is providing the timber frames for the homes. Representatives from Ilke Homes, which is supplying the modular homes, were also present during the visit.

The NHBC delegation was shown a closed panel timber frame home being assembled and were also given a live demonstration of a modular home being dropped into place on site.

Bellway Northern Home Counties Managing Director Paul Smits said: “We were honoured to be able to welcome the NHBC, to the Bellway development at Tattenhoe Park and it was a pleasure to give them a full tour of the site. It was a very instructive day and our VIPs were able to see a live on-site demonstration showing how both the timber-framed homes and the modular homes are constructed.

“Bellway is incredibly proud to have been selected by Homes England to lead this pioneering project and blaze a trail which could help all housebuilders embrace Modern Methods of Construction. This initiative is significant, not only for Bellway and the city of Milton Keynes, but also for the rest of the construction industry as it could revolutionise the way that new homes are built in this country.

“As a company we are pleased to be working on this hugely exciting scheme with Donaldson Timber Systems and ilke Homes, who have proved themselves to be utterly professional from the outset of our working relationship.

“Construction is progressing well on site where the first modular units were dropped in on Wednesday 9 November. We are on course to hit the two-year build target and are hoping to have the first residents moving in by March 2023 and the whole site completed by May 2024.”

Presentations made on the day included those from Bellway’s Senior Technical Manager John Hutchinson, as well as Ryan Burgess, Project Manager at Tattenhoe Park, who was involved in Bellway being chosen for the initiative by Homes England and Sales Manager Aly Morehen, who is selling the homes at the development.

Steve Wood, CEO of NHBC, said: “It was a pleasure to meet with the representatives from Bellway Homes, Donaldson Timber Systems and Ilke Homes to learn about this pioneering development.

“Modern methods of construction are streamlining housing development, whilst reducing build time and ensuring build quality. It is encouraging to see major developers embracing MMC where the advantages of these methods will lead to wider adoption across the industry in the coming years.

“House building is evolving and it is exciting to see this come to life at Tattenhoe Park. Innovation is key to meeting consumer demand and we are always pleased to work with progressive developers employing modern building techniques.”

The Bellway scheme, which is the fourth phase of development at Tattenhoe Park, will include one and two-bedroom apartments, and two, three and four-bedroom houses. There will be 112 homes for private sale and 48 affordable homes, which will be made available to local people through shared ownership or low-cost rent.

The wider Tattenhoe Park project is planned to create a new neighbourhood of more than 1,300 homes.

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