A large Hereford housing development intended to address the city’s dire shortage of affordable homes stands half-built and idle after the supplier of the prefab units commissioned for it went bust.

Ilke Homes of North Yorkshire had been contracted by Stonewater, one of the county’s largest social housing operators, to deliver 120 homes at the former Holmer Trading Estate off College Road to the north of the city.


But in June the modular homes supplier, with staff of over 1,000, went into administration. A report by administrator AlixPartners has now put its outstanding debts at nearly £320 million, including £68 million owed to Government agency Homes England.

Hereford Times: entrance to the Holmer Trading Estate developmententrance to the Holmer Trading Estate development (Image: LDRS)

Stonewater had been working with Homes England along with ilke to deliver the 120 modular units, to be made up of 68 homes for affordable rent, a further six one-bedroom flats, and 46 shared-ownership houses.


“As landowner, Stonewater is looking to appoint a new contractor to deliver these much-needed homes as soon as we can,” a Stonewater spokesperson said.

“We are working through this process and hope to be back on site soon.”

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The units appear to be largely in place around the nine-acre estate, though few if any look complete and habitable.

Robert Thomas, lead executive at Hereford social charity Vennture, said the news was concerning, as “there is a desperate shortage” of affordable housing in Hereford.

A total of 854 households on housing benefit in the county listed themselves as homeless between May 2022 and June this year, Herefordshire Council said.