Salisbury: Lovell wins major £250m contract to build homes for army families

Leading partnership homes specialist Lovell has been awarded a £250 million contract by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to build more than 900 new homes for troops and their families relocating from Germany to Salisbury Plain in South Wiltshire as part of the Army Basing Programme (ABP).

Working to a handover rate of 20 homes a week, the complex, high-volume fast-track homes project will be the company’s largest-ever contracting scheme.

Contracts have been signed for the landmark deal which will see Lovell, part of UK construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall Group plc, construct 917 homes at three sites in Bulford, Larkhill and Ludgershall by May 2020.

The scheme forms part of the large-scale ABP which will see approximately 4,000 additional Service personnel and their families relocating to the Salisbury Plain area by 2020.

Construction is set to start in early 2018 after Lovell’s completion of essential pre-commencement works, including the creation of new roads and other infrastructure, which began in spring 2017.

The contract award follows Lovell’s successful completion of 346 high-quality homes in just over a year for returning soldiers and their families moving to Stafford in 2015. Lovell was selected through a two-stage tender process which has enabled the company to be closely involved in the scheme’s design development and engage at an early stage with the extensive supply chain that will be needed.

Mark Duddy, ABP programme director, said: “I am delighted that his contract has been awarded; this signifies a major milestone in the delivery of the Army Basing Programme. This substantial investment by the MOD will provide modern first-class homes for our Service personnel and their families as they return from Germany in 2019 or relocate within the UK. I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with our valued contractor Lovell.”

Lovell major projects director John Leary said: “We are extremely proud to be continuing our partnership with the MOD through the award of this major scheme on Salisbury Plain and look forward to starting construction of these new homes for Service personnel and their families.

“Our team bring to the scheme considerable expertise in careful planning and management of logistics which are essential to achieving the pace of delivery required, with the focus throughout on constructing homes safely and to the very highest standards. “

Lovell believes the project will deliver faster construction times than any other UK low-rise homes scheme, with the exception of the previous project delivered by the company for the MOD at Stafford.

The collaborative working relationship with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation was a crucial factor in the delivery of the earlier project and will be integral to the Salisbury Plain scheme. The scheme will also rely on the support and skills of a high-calibre supply chain, including some of the partners who worked on the earlier development. The accelerated construction programme for the Salisbury Plain project will see the scheme deliver 20 completed homes a week – compared with a typical industry delivery pace of one to two homes a week. Energy performance for all homes will be equivalent to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The overall Salisbury Plain project will create major economic benefits locally: over the length of the construction programme, it is estimated it will generate well in excess of £100 million for the local economy through investment in the supply chain (estimate based on the amount expected to be spent on local suppliers and the estimated amount that suppliers will re-spend in the local area).

Job creation

Lovell has already held a number of ‘Meet the Buyer’ days in the area to enable local contractors and suppliers to explore opportunities to work on the project. With up to 700 construction workers set to be on site at the peak of the development, the scheme will create a significant number of jobs locally in Hampshire and Wiltshire, as well as training opportunities, including apprenticeships.

Lovell’s focus on creating wide-ranging legacy benefits for the area and local communities will also see it work closely with nearby schools and other community groups, through events ranging from careers support to site visits.