A pledge to build 2,000 new timber frame homes over the next four years has been made by the Amphion Consortium, Partnerships First and Torwood with the renewal of their partnership agreement.

Partnerships First is the social and affordable housing arm of Belan Ltd – formed after a successful MBO from Beazer which included the Torwood timber frame manufacturing plants – and Amphion is made up of 23 housing associations.

Formed in 1999 Amphion has two objectives – to meet Egan Report recommendations and to develop the use of advanced timber technologies for social and private sector homes.

Amphion opted for Torwood’s Tee-U-Tec system and is working with Partnerships First and Torwood to develop the timber frame system.

Richard Finlinson, chairman of the Amphion Consortium, said: ‘By the end of this financial year 650 units of accommodation will have been approved for Amphion projects.

‘We still have a long way to go but the renewed partnering agreement sets the challenge for us to continue to deliver improvements in quality, cost, time and customer satisfaction.’

By year four of the programme at least 75% of the superstructure cost should be factory produced. This will include factory fitted windows and doors, lightweight external cladding, plumbing and electrical installations and bathroom and kitchen fittings.

Mr Finlinson added: ‘All this will be achieved by investing in research to improve technology and engineering and by partnering down the supply chain.’

Mr Finlinson said Amphion had supported Partnerships First and Torwood through a difficult transitional period. ‘Work has continued on Amphion schemes and we have made progress in terms of developing and refining the timber-framed system which is at the heart of what we are trying to achieve.’