As we try to squeeze efficiency out of modular construction technologies, one limitation we are encountering is that we couldn’t order large runs of homes, due to the risk of planners in various counties deciding they don’t like the design.
We are therefore limited to runs which are:
a) ordered post-planning (causing delay unnecessarily)
b) limited in number to that which we need for a single development (possibly more if they happen to coincide)
c) limited in terms of geographical location of suppliers – larger runs would open up competition to all of Europe or further
Planning legislation should be amended to account for the realities of supply chain management. We should know in advance that a house type is acceptable in advance of the PP application proper. It would also be very helpful to have planning acknowledge a house type and its variants – we have a system designed for offering modular “pick-and-mix” homes, to suit the buyer.
Basically, we have suppliers who love our model and can see how it offers them scale. These small changes could remove enough risk so as to push the cost of construction down considerably.
It could be managed nationally in the form of an accreditation to which all LA’s had previously agreed to uphold. Once the design is approved in one LA, it has the accreditation for 5 years to be used anywhere else without changes. Even if this were limited to clusters of local authorities which had common architectural needs, that would be fine. BOOM – instant efficiency and a leap forward in terms of managing construction cost and establishing true cost-effectiveness of technologies competing with traditional concrete products.
What would be needed? An ammendment to the Planning Act.
What would it cost to implement? Nothing. It would simply be something which could be calculated.
How long should it take? Months at most.