TopHat has submitted a planning application to deliver the company’s first factory-built apartments at its flagship Kitchener Barracks site in Chatham, Kent. The planning application, submitted to Medway Council, includes proposals for the construction of three four-storey factory-built blocks of apartments, which will comprise 96 one and two-bedroom homes. All of the 96 apartments will be precision-engineered along production lines at TopHat’s factory in South Derbyshire.
TopHat is delivering a total of 302 homes at the 4.8-acre Kitchener Barracks site. The new homes are being delivered across three phases, with over 100 already delivered by the modular housing company. The new apartments will be the first TopHat has ever delivered and signals the company’s move to delivering alternative residential assets for investors, such as build-to-rent and co-living schemes. The application submitted by TopHat includes plans to deliver a further 183 homes at Kitchener Barracks, as part of the scheme’s third phase, including a proposal to repurpose an early 20th century barracks to deliver 68 apartments and 19 two and four-bedroom houses.
Dating from 1757 and named after Earl Kitchener in 1928, the Kitchen Barracks site is an important local landmark, most recently used as accommodation for the Royal School of Military Engineering. The news of TopHat’s latest planning application at Kitchener Barracks comes just a month after the company announced the appointment of Matthew Evans, a former Airbus vice president, as its new Chief Technology Officer – which will see him lead on the TopHat’s ambition to revolutionise housing delivery across the UK.
Krishan Pattni, Chief Design Officer and Founding Director at TopHat, says: “By diversifying our product range, we are now able to deliver a higher volume of homes to a wider range of partners. For investors investing in long-term income-producing assets like affordable housing, build-to-rent and co-living, it is crucial to have certainty that a project will be delivered on time so revenue streams can be accessed as early as possible and that the homes are cost and maintenance efficient throughout their use. Demographic trends and spurring on the growth of alternative residential asset classes we, as a company, want to make sure we have products capable of catering to this increasing investor appetite.”