New contractor for stalled Ilke site

A local housebuilder is set to take over an affordable housing scheme that stalled after modular housebuilder Ilke Homes went into administration.

Midlands-based Morro Partnerships was appointed by Jigsaw Homes on the £20.6m Birch Fields scheme in Nottingham and will start work this month, a year after the project was suspended.

Ilke Homes had completed many of the 131 homes when it went under last June, resulting in more than 1,000 job cuts. The modular specialist was hit by theft and legal action from former employees during a turbulent administration period, before entering liquidation in October.

Morro will finish off the modular homes – manufactured in Ilke’s factory in Knaresborough, Yorkshire – that were already installed on site, and build four homes from scratch.

Birch Fields was one of several schemes backed by government homebuilding agency Homes England. The public body is likely to recover only £4.3m of the £68.7m finance facility it provided to the collapsed housebuilder.

Ilke once attracted hundreds of millions of pounds of investment from the public and private sector, but made losses of more than £100m in its three final years of trading. It shut its factory in June 2023 and searched for a buyer, blaming “volatile macroeconomic conditions and issues with the planning system”. One company nearly bought the ailing housebuilder for £25m through a pre-pack administration, but pulled out.

Jigsaw Homes operations director of development Garnet Fazackerley said: “We appreciate the patience from Gedling Borough Council, Homes England and local residents as we know this has been a frustrating time for all concerned, but we are now on the right track to deliver new homes for those most in need.”

The development will contain 45 two-bedroom homes, 73 three-bedroom homes and 13 four-bedroom homes available for either shared ownership or affordable rent.

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