Go-ahead for £350m Romford regen project

A project to build nearly 1,000 homes in Romford has been given the green light.

The 7-acre plot, known as Rom Valley Gardens, had previously received planning permission for 620 homes, but this has been extended to 972, of which 24 per cent will be affordable. A new clinical diagnostic hub for the NHS will also be developed onsite, which will bolster the services already offered by the nearby Queen’s Hospital.

On top of that, the plans, which were put together by London-based developer Impact Developments, include space for about 14,000 square feet of retail and an onsite gym.

The site itself is situated next to the Crossrail station in Romford, currently under construction.

The developer is owned by Impact Capital Group, which bought the site with the backing of a private family office, which committed £100m equity to the job.

The development will be delivered using modern methods of construction (MMC), and Impact Developments will use its own modular construction factory to develop the site. Construction work will begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Impact Capital Group chief executive Robert Whitton said new and quality homes were needed to combat the UK’s “housing emergency”.

“By using our own modular construction factory, we are ripping up the rule book, and combining smart technology, innovative design and precision engineering to produce the sustainable and affordable buildings of the future,” he added.

MMC techniques have become a steadfast part of the construction industry over the last year or so. In October 2021, Bouygues chief executive Rob Bradley told Construction News the company would be using offsite techniques to help cope with labour shortages.

Other major contractors have signalled they are keen to expand their use of modular methods. Earlier this week, Mott MacDonald set up a new group that will focus on developing MMC and DfMA [design for manufacturing and assembly] strategies for major clients.

Meanwhile, ISG bought a majority stake in MMC specialist ESS Group last month, which it said would give it an additional MMC capability.

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