Corby Council criticised after £600k modular flats spend

The flats were built off site and winched into place.
The flats were built off site and winched into place.

Corby Council has been criticised after spending more than £600,000 on four modular one-bedroom homes.

The Labour-run authority has shelled out £166,000 per home and also incurred another £41,000 on clearing the former garage site at Wilby Close on the lodge park estate.

Conservative opposition councillor Kevin Watts says the cost is excessive and the authority should be getting more ‘bang for its buck’.

The four one-bedroom homes are being paid for out of right to buy receipts. They have been put on site and the final works are being done.

Cllr Watts, who has twice raised the issue at council meetings, said: “That money could have built three bedroom houses that could have provided homes for families.

“This will only house a small number of people.

“You can buy a one bedroom flat for the price the council is spending. The council already owned the land so has not had to pay for that.”

The council's leader member for housing Cllr Bob Eyles said he did not want to comment on the cost.

The homes have been bought from company F1 Modular homes. In a statement, the authority said there had been an unsuccessful tender in 2016 and then it had used the LHC public sector framework to award the contract.

It said it had no current plans to buy any more of the units and said: “This is the first time Corby Borough Council has used this method of construction and any lessons learned will be applied to future developments.”

Pictures of the homes have been shared on social media and have had a mixed reaction.

The flats make the number of new homes built by the council since 2010 reach 246.

The authority is also currently refurbishing Neville House in the town centre. This will create 12 two-bedroom maisonettes.

Earlier this year the council reported that the number of people on its housing waiting list had increased by a quarter in a year and stands at more than 1450 people.

*An earlier version of this articlle reported that Willowbrook Construction was involved in the scheme. The council has said there was an error on its contract register and the company is not involved.