Housebuilder has submitted a planning application to build site in Kent

Tony Pidgley

Berkeley has confirmed plans for a modular construction factory in Kent.

Unveiling its interim results, the housebuilder said it had submitted a planning application to erect a 160,000ft2 modular construction factory facility on a site in Gravesham.

The firm said it had bought the site for the facility from the Homes and Communities Agency, adding that it had assembled a team to design the factory and was already testing the first components for it.

In June, Building revealed that that Berkeley was exploring potential sites in Ebbsfleet for a modular homes factory that could build up to 2,000 homes a year.

Berkeley is the latest in a string of housebuilders and housing associations to set up its own off-site manufacturing facility.

Legal & General in the summer unveiled its first modular housing prototype from its factory in Selby, near Leeds.

For the six months to the end of October, Berkeley posted a pre-tax profit increase of more than a third to come in at £533m, up from £393m for the same period last year. Revenue was also up by 14% to £1.6bn.

Berkeley chairman Tony Pidgley also gave his support to London mayor Sadiq Khan’s draft London Plan, which aims to increase the number of new homes built in the capital by 66,000 a year.

But he called on the government to do away with the Community Infrastructure Levy for sites where the infrastructure and affordable housing for sites with more than 100 homes are funded through Section 106 agreements.

“Furthermore, while continuing to protect the greenbelt, we must be prepared to develop the urban fringe where this has little amenity or community value in its existing use,” he added.

“We should remember, above all, that housing is not a numbers game. Fundamentally, it is about people and community.”