A vision of the future?

We visit a ‘modular town’



Two large developments to house 1,500 power station workers have sprung up in just over a year. Martin Hilditchvisits to see if the offsite scheme is a vision of the future.


In the construction world’s equivalent of the blink of an eye, a new settlement has sprung up on the outskirts of the historic Somerset town of Bridgwater.

The Bridgwater Campus development is made up of 29 blocks of low-rise housing and will accommodate 986 people working on the nearby Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant (temporarily increasing Bridgwater’s population by roughly 3%).

It started on site in November last year and, when Inside Housing visits at the beginning of September, the finishing touches are being made ahead of residents moving in next month. As Paul Lang, chief executive of offsite manufacturer Caledonian Modular, states, the campus is basically “a small town”.

“It was a green field less than 12 months ago,” he says.

While a quick look at Google Maps suggests the site was not a very green field prior to the development, the point stands about the pace of delivery. The buildings, clad in several shades of grey, form one half of a pair of modular developments in the area. A short hop down the road, Caledonian has already delivered 15 further buildings, this time timber-clad. Between them, the two developments – which cost £50m – will house 1,500 key workers needed to construct two new nuclear reactors at the nearby Hinkley Point C power station.

Inside Housing has come to look at this scheme because it has managed to deliver something that social landlords in England thus far have, by and large, not – a large-scale offsite development.