[Albert Owen in the Chair] — Prefabricated Housing

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:44 am on 4th November 2015.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun 9:44 am, 4th November 2015

The hon. Gentleman makes a fair point about the successful delivery of the 2012 Olympics and prefabrication helping to control budgets.

It might surprise the House to know that Scotland is ahead of the curve with off-site construction and prefabrication. In 2013 there was an estimated construction value of £125 million in Scotland, compared with only £46 million in the rest of the UK. That illustrates a stark difference. Also in 2013, it was estimated that 50% of new houses in Scotland had an off-site build element, which again is a much higher rate than in the rest of the UK. We also have a much higher new build rate in social housing and private housing, and the 50% rate clearly contributes to that. Scotland’s housing growth also means a potential increase in exports, creating new jobs and keeping traditional construction jobs on site. There has been a real fillip for the construction industry.

I agree that there is less waste on site when there is off-site construction, and vehicle movements to and from the site can be reduced by up to 40%. We should consider that housing developments often take place adjacent to existing houses, so that reduction in movements is great for reducing disruption to local residents. Of course, having fewer vehicles also brings a safety benefit.