THOUSANDS of homes for occupation throughout the UK are to be manufactured in North Yorkshire at a proposed new flat pack house factory creating up to 500 jobs in the region.

Sherburn-in-Elmet has been named as the chosen location for a new £55 million factory, set to the be the largest of its kind in the world.

The plans have been put forward by national insurance giant Legal & General which is looking to break into housebuilding through its new division L&G Homes.

Initially employing 400 to 500 local people, L&G expects to deliver its first houses from the factory in June after agreeing a ten-year lease for a 550,000 sq ft factory at Sherburn-in-Elmet, where around 3,000 houses a year will be produced.

If the new facility is successful the FTSE 100 insurer is set invest £500 million in creating similar facilities in other locations in a bid to replicate the process of manufacturing houses offsite before shipping them to plots of land across the country.

The move has been reported as a potential solution to the UK’s housing crisis. Paul Stanworth, managing director of Legal & General Capital, said: “Sustainable, durable modern materials and proven technology will enable us to create high-quality homes meeting a wide range of housing needs and help solve the UK’s housing crisis.

"Modern modular housing in the UK has so far been restricted to the top end of the market: the scale of our Sherburn facility will enable many more people to benefit from new, environmentally-friendly construction techniques which have already become mainstream in Europe."

The factory will produce a range of homes ranging from 20-storey apartment blocks to rows of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses.

Tom Ground, chief executive of L&G Homes, said: ”Legal & General Homes aims to deliver a new solution to the problems we face in the UK, addressing the shortage of suitable, affordable and sustainable housing by manufacturing higher quality, energy efficient, lower cost housing.”

Leader of Selby District Council, Cllr Mark Crane, added:  “This is a real vote of confidence in the Selby district as a great place for business investment.

"Our transport links, the availability of affordable business space, and the quality of life here in Yorkshire all contribute to the growth potential of our area. 

" This isn’t just about jobs, this is about housing too and we’re excited by the products that will be made at this site.  We’ve been working with Legal & General for some time now, and we’ll continue to do so, to finalise plans for this major investment in the Selby district.”

The move follows an announcement from Legal & General last month when it announced a deal with Dutch pension fund PGGM to created 3,000 purpose-built homes for the private rented sector. It already has three Build to Rent development schemes in its portfolio: Bristol, Salford and Walthamstow, which are forecast to deliver more than 650 homes.

It has also pledged to fund the construction of new garden cities.