Ikea's answer to city housing shortage . . 500 flat-pack homes
HUNDREDS of Ikea "flat pack" homes would be built in the Capital under plans to help key workers and low-income families get a foot on the housing ladder.
The Swedish furniture giant wants to put up 500 of the pre-fab homes in the Capital, with a starting price of 70,000.
The homes, which are bolted together on site, can be constructed in a matter of weeks, compared with six or nine months for conventional houses.
And they would be kitted out with Ikea's functional furniture.
The flats, built in blocks of six, are aimed at people with incomes from 15,000 upwards. Similar developments are planned for Newcastle, Gateshead, Brighton and the New Forest.
Councillor Sheila Gilmore, Edinburgh's housing leader, said discussions were taking place with BoKlok, the Ikea subsidiary behind the scheme, but stressed plans were at an early stage.
She said it was too early to talk about where in Edinburgh the homes might be built. However, affordable homes are due to form part of the redevelopment of Edinburgh's waterfront.
Cllr Gilmore said: "We are always interested in new, innovative forms of affordable housing. Finding land is always an issue in Edinburgh, but we are open to discussions with [the property developers]."
Ikea brought forward the proposals in a bid to help beat the shortage of affordable accommodation for young families and low-paid workers in essential services.
A spokeswoman for BoKlok said: "We are talking about creating developments with a community feel. It's very much about the design and the environment as well as the cost.
"Although it will depend on the planning constraints, we are hoping to offer a mixture of properties for first-time buyers, renters and key workers."
BoKlok - which means "live smart" in Ikea's native Sweden - launched its flat-pack homes in 1997 to counter housing problems in the Scandinavian country.
The company is understood to be hoping to make a start on its proposed British developments this autumn, with the homes being ready for occupation by next spring. Decoration and furniture would be chosen by the purchasers on-line.
The current proposals are all for flats, though BoKlok is currently developing flat-pack villas in Sweden, which could eventually be introduced in this country.
Some other construction companies have begun building prefabricated homes on a small scale, but the BoKlok project, which involves a partnership with Paramount Homes and the Hyde Group, is thought to be the first time they have been marketed as a large-scale solution to housing problems since the 1950s.
The BoKlok spokeswoman said: "The panels come flat packed and then they are built on site in a matter of weeks. Any delay comes from finding land and negotiating planning permission."
Last year, the Scottish Executive announced an extra 100m worth of investment in affordable housing and increased its three-year target for new affordable homes from 18,000 to 21,500.
But critics argue 12,000 homes must be built each year to meet housing shortages.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East