Industrialised building, prefabrication and off-site production all the rage

Far reaching proposals that would provide a large volume of work for the building industry are advocated by the Town and Country Planning Association in a policy statement sent to Sir Keith Joseph, Minister of Housing and Local Government, Mr Frederick Errol, President of the Board of Trade and Lord Hailsham, Minister for the North-East.

The memorandum analyses migration trends and advocates the creation of new regional growth points to attract new enterprises to the region. It notes that firms in the region are already producing prefabricated houses and components, and it seems that some shipyards could enter the field.

The housing minister has also given his support to industrial methods in the Commons. He said shipyards were one of the possible sources of supply for the components used by these methods. He understood that some public bodies were adding shipyards to their list of tenderers, mainly for specialised components.

Meanwhile, in West Bromwich in the West Midlands, permanent timber construction has been adopted to speed up the housing programme. Eighty-four one-bedroom flats designed by Mr A Philip, ARIBA, the borough architect, in collaboration with Simms, Sons & Cooke Ltd are under construction.

Each dwelling costs slightly more to build than a traditional one but the project is likely to be regarded with interest by many other local authorities because of such advantages as speed of erection. Timber constructions of this kind are so light that they can be erected on land that is quite unsuitable for heavier traditional buildings.