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Derelict garage sites across Walsall could be transformed into new and energy efficient housing developments, after whg revealed its modular homes vision.

The leading Midlands landlord has identified more than 200 unused sites in the borough that, using innovative modular technology, could be brought back into use as new housing developments.

As part of the vision whg would build the homes offsite before transporting them to their final destination and craning them into position.

whg has so far submitted 13 planning applications to Walsall Council, all consisting of three bed semi detached homes, with many more in the pipeline.

Paul Nicol, Director at whg, said: “As part of the transfer of housing stock from the council to whg 16 years ago, whg inherited a large number of garage sites. Many of these are unused, and attract anti-social behaviour and flytipping.

“These sites have always been unsuitable to build on due to access problems, and the cost of building houses in such low quantities using traditional construction methods.  By building houses offsite we are able to overcome these barriers, and create high quality, energy efficient homes that can be simply dropped into position with minimal disruption.”

“These new homes will help transform neighbourhoods and address the shortage of affordable family homes in the borough by using brownfield sites.”

Building the homes offsite allows whg to build homes at a greater pace, with reduced costs, helping it reach its target of constructing around 3,000 new homes in the next five years.

Working in collaboration with industry experts, whg is now developing a prototype that can be rolled out across its new development sites. The homes will be designed as lifetime homes which can be adapted to suit the needs of different generations and lifestyles. Their innovative construction technique means they will be cheap to heat, which will help tackle fuel poverty.

Five planning applications have already been approved at Essington Road, Milford Avenue, Mossley Close, Fereday Road and Abbey Square.

whg is exploring the potential of modular homes after it was awarded a £750k grant from Innovate UK to fund a two year research and development project into offsite housing construction.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Will this new development block our current access to the garage site?

A: Our legal team are looking in to legal rights of access across the site and will particularly investigate access from the neighbours, who have raised a concern.

  • Q: Will the building works be noisy as we are concerned about the impact this may have on vulnerable families?

A: These new homes are modular builds, meaning a large part of the build process will be done offsite. We will also investigate the feasibility of limiting the working hours of contractors to a mutually agreeable period in terms of working hours and working days to endeavour to minimise any disruption construction may cause.

  • Q: Will you be tackling the poor condition of boundary walls?

A: All party boundaries will be assessed and adapted if required to leave the development and adjacent properties in a safe condition.

  • Q: Will the new homes overlook our properties?

A: The sides of the new homes closest to the plot boundary will have a blind gable, so will not overlook existing properties.

  • Q: Will you be addressing the issue of noise coming from the nearby factories?

A: As part of the project we will provide a sound buffer zone between proposed house at the North-East corner and the factories.