Senior minister calls for a generation of prefab homes to build Britain by flat pack

Senior minister calls for a generation of prefab homes to build Britain by flat pack

  • Spending review will include a ‘flat pack’ strategy to kick-start British building
  • Treasury chief Steve Barclay suggests developers should use prefab units 
  • He also suggested Nightingale sites should be models for future hospitals builds

A senior minister yesterday called for a new generation of prefab homes and hospitals to speed up delivery of the Government’s infrastructure plans. 

Treasury chief secretary Steve Barclay said the upcoming comprehensive spending review will include a ‘flat pack’ strategy to get Britain building more quickly. 

He said the rapid development of the Nightingale hospitals, created at the height of the virus pandemic, should be used as models for delivering Boris Johnson’s pledge to build 40 new hospitals. 

Treasury chief secretary Steve Barclay, pictured during a visit to an Edinburgh farm on Friday, has suggested housing developers using pre-fabricated units to build British homes 

Mr Barclay added the housing shortage could be solved in part if developers switched to using prefabricated units. 

He said prefab houses had improved dramatically since the notorious draughty models of the post-war era. 

In a speech to the centre-right Onward think-tank, Mr Barclay said that while 84 per cent of homes in Sweden were now built using prefab sections, the corresponding figure in the UK was just five per cent. 

He said mega-factories in Japan were able to churn out 20,000 homes a year, adding: ‘This is what we should be seeing in the UK… The spending review will accelerate modern methods of production and link funding to schemes that prioritise it.’ 

Mr Barclay’s comments come a week after the government announced it was tearing up planning red tape to allow boarded up shops and abandoned offices to be turned into homes without the need for full planning permission.

Changes to the planning system will make it easier for business owners and developers to ‘repurpose’ premises that are no longer needed and bring them back into use.

In a further move to support town centres, families will be offered a new fast-track system allowing them to add up to two storeys to their homes.