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Are prefab boxes the answer to Britain’s severe housing shortage?

Design company Bert & May says portable units are an affordable way to add extra space to homes

Britain needs to build around 250,000 new homes a year to ease the chronic housing shortage, although current figures show homebuilders are achieving just half of that. Now one company claims to have found one way to help ease the UK’s housing woes.

Bert & May, an interior design firm specialising in tiles and flooring, plans to sell portable outside boxes that are big enough to host two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen for £150,000.

Bert & May Spaces, which launches its units next month at design show Decorex, will sell three types of units. The smallest will be a one-roomed box retailing for £25,000, a one-bedroom unit will be available from £75,000, while the most expensive will be the two-bedroom option at £150,000.

The boxes are made from timber, with double glazed windows and an eco-friendly green roof to lower energy costs.

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The firm said it has already had some pre-orders, including one from a family in Yorkshire that wants a granny annex.

“The nature of London property prices in particular makes moving house impossible. We want to prove prefabs can be cool – if you have spare land, why not have an extra bedroom. And you can take it with you if you do move, “ said Lee Thornley, co-founder of Bert & May.

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