Kingstone Press Release from ArchiHaus Ltd

ArchiHaus was formed with the intention of developing housing in Herefordshire to a higher standard of design and sustainability than mainstream developers, using offsite manufacture of high quality houses.

We were successful in gaining planning permission in 2014 for this new approach, with a scheme of 150 houses in Kingstone, Herefordshire.

We were pleased that the planning committee at the time recognised the forward thinking design we developed. Since then we have experienced huge interest across the UK in the ideas developed at Kingstone.

Despite this support, it has however proved difficult to raise finance to take the scheme forwards.

We worked closely with the Government backed Builders Finance Fund for nearly 2 years, had positive support and dialogue, and fully anticipated that we would secure the necessary finance through them to develop our exciting plans for Kingstone.

Disappointingly an apparent change in their approach led to our finance being turned down at the final hurdle.

The Government claims that the fund was designed to support small developers unable to gain standard finance, to stimulate house building, and to encourage the development of offsite construction.

It is therefore deeply disappointing that their rhetoric did not translate into actual support for a scheme which we believe, and were continually advised by the Builders Finance Fund, so clearly met their aims.

The timing of the Builders Finance Fund decision left a very short period of time to find alternative finance before the land option agreement expired.

This decision also coincided with the result of the BREXIT referendum, which has caused uncertainties in the housing development market, and consequently funders are less confident to lend.

Despite relentless effort and hard work by ArchiHaus, it has not proved possible to raise finance in our own right. After exploring a range of options, we have finally secured a solution that will enable a scheme to proceed on the site.

We have sold the land to Lagan Homes who will take over the development in its entirety. We understand Lagan Homes will issue their own statement in the near future.

Lagan Homes are an innovative housing development company committed to quality, and sustainable development, rather than the volume and profit generation ethos of a standard mainstream developer. Lagan Homes construct modular homes through one of their companies ‘FastHouse’ which they describe as:

“An efficient, low–cost solution for constructing buildings. FastHouse is an innovative construction concept designed to make building homes and other structures easier. Our modular designs are faster to build than traditional homes, more energy efficient, have a lower carbon footprint and are incredibly durable.”

The directors of ArchiHaus feel badly let down by the Government Builders Finance fund, and frustrated by the difficulty of raising finance in the current climate for our innovative scheme. We are disappointed that we are not able to proceed with the development in our own right.

There are however a number of schemes in Herefordshire seeking to create better quality housing, that have been influenced by the ArchiHaus approach, so we hope that our efforts have had, and will continue to have, a positive effect around the County and beyond.

Jonathan Hines and Lars Carlsson, Directors ArchiHaus Ltd

For more information please contact: Jonathan Hines
T: 01981 542111 E: info@archihaus.co.uk