Traditional vs. Modular: The Housebuilding Debate Rages On

Traditional vs. Modular: The Housebuilding Debate Rages On

A leading building industry expert has backed Shropshire concrete block producer Besblock to be flag-bearers for the campaign to preserve the traditional housing industry.

Recent figures suggested a downturn in housing, with Government preference for ‘modular’ and prefabricated housing adding further gloom for the more traditional building methods.

However, Michael Leonard, chief executive officer of the Building Alliance, believes masonry construction is crucial to the industry’s future.

Companies such as award-winning Shropshire concrete block firm Besblock are integral to this process, he said.

The company has invested more some £1.5 million in an attempt to expand their business to cover more of the UK. It has also recently confirmed deals with numerous national housebuilders.

With such a gesture of financial commitment, Mr Leonard believes Government guidance shouldn’t come at the expense of overriding established experts.

“The Government spoke to Jaguar Land Rover recently but I bet they wouldn’t tell them how to build cars, likewise I don’t think they are in a position to tell us how to build houses,” Mr Leonard explained.

“We need to build up the profile of our industry and Besblock is an important players in this area.

“Masonry construction is a big part of our economy. It provides a lot of employment locally and we need to make that sector stronger, not weaker.

“We have extensive knowledge of the industry. We’ve been accused of not building houses quickly enough but there are other factors outside our control at play that cause delays – which are, more often than not, way out of our control.”

Besblock also plans to plough further investment into technology and environmentally friendly vehicles.

The expansion plans will allow the family company, which employs 50 people, to travel further afield taking orders outside the Midlands with larger load capacity. New machinery means the company will also be able to produce more blocks while saving vital energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite concerns in the economy, managing director Andrew Huxley said the current UK climate appeared positive.

“With the Government’s continued backing for traditional methods, we feel the future for us and other similar employers to be very exciting,” he explained.

“While we have and always will be a family-run firm, this will not limit our ambitions: we are keen to expand production as the market grows.

“Besblock has secured some important contracts in recent months and remain key players in Britain’s growing house-building market.”

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