Scandinavian retailer Ikea is branching out by selling flat-pack houses.
In a UK first the home furnishings giant will be selling flat-pack housing from its store in Gateshead.
The Scandinavian-style timber-framed houses and flats, which have been designed by Swedish construction firm Skanska, will be built near the Gateshead International Stadium.
Yesterday Gateshead Council approved outline planning permission for the development of 117 properties.
The Tyneside town is now set to become the first site in the UK to boast a development of BoKlok homes.
They were designed in the mid-1990s to address the need for affordable properties in Sweden and to provide people with high-quality properties at a low price.
It is believed that work on the first phase of 36 flats in six two-storey blocks will begin later in the spring with the first flats being marketed in Ikea‘s Gateshead store in the autumn.
Councillor David Napier, Gateshead’s cabinet member for housing, said: ‘This is an exciting development and one that makes an important contribution to the debate on affordable housing.
‘I’m delighted that the developers have chosen Gateshead to be the first UK development of a totally new type of home.
‘These homes are cleverly designed, highly energy-efficient and they look fantastic, so I don’t think there will be any shortage of potential buyers in Gateshead.’
The BoKlok concept is to provide space-saving, functional homes offering good quality at a price which puts them within reach of households earning between £12,500 and £30,000 a year.
Homes will be offered on a shared ownership, below market rent or outright sale basis, with legal agreements ensuring that buy-to-let will be actively discouraged.
The BoKlok flats have a flexible open-plan layout, with high ceilings and large windows which give the apartments a light, airy and contemporary feel.
BoKlok homes are designed around factory processes that enable them to be constructed in quality-controlled conditions than would be impossible to create using traditional construction methods.
They are constructed using a highly-insulated closed panel system with a range of cladding systems and are energy efficient.
Homes come with a host of additional features as standard, such as extra height rooms to give a feeling of space, wooden flooring throughout, fitted kitchens and free interior design advice from Ikea, as well as an Ikea furniture voucher.
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