Ikea offshoot given green light to build homes in UK

Worthing seafront from the pier

It’s become a byword for affordable, accessible flatpack furniture and home products. Now Swedish giant Ikea is getting to ready to deliver ready-made homes in the UK.

The retailer will be part of a partnership with Worthing Council in West Sussex to build 162 homes.

Factory built and affordable

The council is in talks with BoKlok, a modular homes company owned by Ikea and construction firm Skanska.

This would only be BoKlok’s second venture in the UK with the seaside town potentially benefiting from its expertise in factory-built homes that are priced on the buyer’s affordability.

Its first was on Tyneside in 2007.

Expansion plan

A BBC report noted that BoKlok has put a notice on its website, announcing: “We are expanding in the UK and are looking for land. Do you have a vacant plot that could accommodate a new sustainable neighbourhood?”

The Worthing plan, expected to be given the green light by councillors, would see the council given 30 percent of the completed new homes to be used for social housing with BoKlok selling the rest. If successful, a longer-term project would deliver 500 new homes for people in the town.

Since its formation, the Swedish firm has built more than 11,000 homes in Sweden, Finland and Norway in its factory.

Sustainable and cost-effective

According to its website, BoKlok homes are sustainable and cost-effective because they are timber framed and climate neutral, while less than 1 percent of its leftover materials are thrown away with the rest recycled.

A report prepared by Worthing Council officials for councillors noted that average house prices in the town are 11 times average salaries. With the local population expected to grow by 7,500 over the next 25 years, demand for affordable housing is growing.

Meanwhile, Ikea is expected to build a superstore in the neighbouring town of Lancing after councillors approved a development plan that includes 600 new homes.