Beattie Passive opens first on-site “flying factory” at Graven Hill self-build development

Hethel firm Beattie Passive opens its first flying factory at the Graven Hill development in Oxfords

Hethel firm Beattie Passive opens its first flying factory at the Graven Hill development in Oxfordshire. Ron and Rosemary Beattie (far left and far right) with MP Richard Bacon, Graven Hill managing director Karen Curtin, and on-site workers. Picture: Beattie Passive - Credit: Supplied

A Norfolk construction company has opened an on-site factory at a development in Oxfordshire – which it hopes will be the first of many around the country.

Beattie Passive is a primary construction partner at Graven Hill near Bicester, the country's first large-scale custom and self-build development.

This week the Future50 company – which specialises in Passivhaus buildings – opened its first 'flying factory' at the site, which will enable on-site construction and provide jobs for local workers.

The firm will be delivering a range of two and three-bedroom terraced houses, coach houses and individually designed homes for self-build clients at the development.

Using local supply chains, the flying factory will manufacture the majority of the Beattie Passive homes for the site, starting with nine three-bedroom terraces.

The factory was formally opened by South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, chair of the all-party parliamentary group for self build, custom and community housebuilding and placemaking.

Karen Curtin, Graven Hill's managing director, said: 'Graven Hill is an innovative project which is committed to benefitting the local community.

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'Not only will it deliver 1,900 homes but it will provide employment opportunities during the build and beyond.

'I am delighted that the arrival of the flying factory heralds a new chapter for us. Having this facility on site will increase the speed of delivery of our exciting tailored finished terraced homes allowing their new owners to live at the development even sooner than expected.'

Based at Hethel Engineering Centre, and with an expanding factory at Scottow Enterprise Park, Beattie Passive builds timber-framed homes to the Passivhaus standard of energy efficiency.

The company hopes to open up its flying factory offering – which encompasses on-site assembly and erection – to customers around the UK. It claims the service can produce faster delivery times and reduce transport costs.

Managing director Ron Beattie said: 'With one flying factory on-site, one organisation completing the training and two more due to start this year, the Beattie Passive flying factory is proving a popular offering for housing associations and developers who are looking deliver their own Passivhaus homes with their own labour and supply chains.'

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