Modular homes in Peacehaven showcase Boutique Modern’s expertise

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Modular homes in Peacehaven showcase Boutique Modern’s expertise

One year after handing over 40 energy efficient modular homes for affordable rent in Peacehaven, Boutique Modern’s development remains a prime example of its ability to deliver elegant homes on even the most difficult of sites.

The project provided an exciting opportunity to partner with Stonewater, a Homes England strategic partner, and transform the area, which previously included 1.5 acres of hard standing, a former plant-hire business and derelict house in Cripps Avenue.

Now this housing development will continue to have a lasting impact.

Residents benefit from much-needed affordable rent and lower energy bills thanks to the buildings’ energy efficiency.

The local community has benefited from improvements to a run-down area, and the development brought significant benefits to the local economy, including more than £3.5m being spent with local businesses, suppliers and subcontractors within the district.

At Boutique Modern, the project created nine new jobs in the factory in Newhaven, helping the business to grow.

A challenging site

During the construction phase, evidence of a Roman settlement was found, which meant calling in county archaeologists to investigate. A few fragments of Roman pottery were discovered, along with evidence of a fire from the era, but experts deemed it wasn’t significant enough to halt development.

Cripps Avenue was a difficult site due to contamination and the risk of solution features, which can occur in chalky soil.

Solution features are caused by slightly acidic surface water runoff, which dissolves the underlying chalk and forms caverns, which are prone to subsidence. Boutique Modern was prepared with ways to address any caverns, but thankfully none were found.

The site was steep and long, with a change in levels of 14m. Surface water at the site also required careful managing.

Boutique Modern worked closely with local residents and the nearby school to keep them updated about the works and to minimise disruption.

A play on light and shadow

The development includes 40 affordable and energy-efficient modern homes with a mixture of terraced and detached houses, all with a garden, open-plan living room and kitchen, bathroom and parking.

There are nine one and two-bedroom flats and 31 two and three-bedroom houses, which have all been built with energy-efficiency and lower fuel bills in mind.

Boutique Modern worked with Stonewater, one of the UK’s largest social housing providers, to adapt its designs and deliver the project as modular housing.

The exterior design features a soft grey render, which plays with light and shadow, framed by 31 silver birch tree saplings, which will eventually mature into 30m high specimens. A single-ply membrane features on the rooves.

Stonewater incorporates public art into all its new developments, with Cripps Avenue now home to a sculpture, created by local artist Rich Dean, who works from his studio in Newhaven, named “Ascension of the Fallen” and contains 1,000 stainless steel poppies.

It was created in memory of those involved in the First World War and provides a link with Peacehaven’s strong historical connections with the armed forces.

Time scales

Work started on the project in June 2021 and completed on April 19, 2023. It took 36 weeks to build the homes in Boutique Modern’s factory. The development was officially launched in September 2023.


The electric-powered homes have already been rated highly for their energy efficiency, with high performing EPC certificates, and appraised for their minimal carbon emissions over the building’s life cycle.

Boutique Modern homes are designed with a fabric-first approach, which means they stay warm in winter, but cool in summer.

The team worked with local schools to create sensory gardens for children with additional needs during the development and donated timber from the project to make benches for the school next door.

Dick Shone, managing director at Boutique Modern, said:

“It was fantastic to work with leading affordable housing provider Stonewater on such a large project which included producing a total of 140 modules which went into the 40 homes.

“We were so pleased they chose us to deliver the project. Stonewater aligns with our corporate values and they have similar ambitions to us in terms of sustainability and social value. 

“While the site had some significant challenges, the team took it in their stride and one year on Cripps Avenue already looks like part of the established urban landscape of Peacehaven.” 

Happy residents and client

One year on and Stonewater customer Angela, is still incredibly happy with her new flat in Cripps Avenue.

She said: “It’s such a nice house. It’s beautifully warm and I couldn’t say a bad thing about this flat or the development.

“I was so excited to move in. It’s very well presented and modern. It’s well designed on the inside and the outside. I’m really happy here.

“My cousin who comes to visit, was amazed about how modern and beautiful it is. It’s very spacious for a one-bedroom flat and it’s very economical to run.”

Naomi Mooney, development manager for Stonewater, said: “We’re incredibly proud of this development and the opportunity it has given us to provide a high number of wonderful homes for customers while reducing the impact on the environment of constructing much needed new affordable homes.

“It’s wonderful to see the site complete, with our poppy sculpture providing a lovely focal point, and to know that not only are customers benefitting from warm, high-quality homes but that they are already seeing a reduction in energy bills too.”