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First factory homes set for Walsall housing development

The first homes to roll off the production line at the Accord Group's new timber home manufacturing hub are being erected in Walsall as part of a £10 million housing development.

More than 100 new homes, including 90 low carbon timber houses, are being constructed in Darlaston by the Accord Group as part of a major affordable housing development.

The Whitworth Close development is partly funded by the Government's Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which has awarded the scheme a £2 million grant.

The energy efficient homes, which will cost less to run than more traditional houses, are being manufactured under the name LoCaL Homes at Accord's timber home factory in Beechdale.

The panels are placed into position using cranes and assembled into three bedroom homes, with the first properties set to be completed by late spring.

Homes will be available for people to rent affordably or to buy through shared ownership, where households can buy a percentage of the property and rent the remainder.

Alan Yates, Group Director of Regeneration for the Accord Group, said: "It's fantastic to welcome in the New Year by seeing the first homes produced at the factory being erected on site. 

"Many of those who work at the hub live in or around the borough so these homes will truly be made by local people, for local people which is something that we are particularly proud of.

"And with around 350,000 people across the West Midlands on waiting lists for social housing, we hope that this development will go some way to create the much needed affordable homes that the region needs."

Councillor Adrian Andrew, Walsall Council Deputy Leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: "This is excellent news that I'm very proud to be associated with. We've played a role in making this happen and it's good to see new homes taking shape to offer families quality places to live in Walsall.

"One of the key aims of local government is to help create jobs and investment. I'm pleased to see this aim take shape."

The Accord Group, which is made up of seven different housing organisations, is the first housing association in the country to open its own factory to manufacture timber frame homes.

Opened just two months ago, the factory will produce around 200 environmentally friendly homes each year and has already created a number of vital jobs for local people.