Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
17,000,000 New Homes By 1999 (1966)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

A car drives through the "grey acres" of an industrial town, with endless streets of terraced housing. The plan is to get rid of it for the next generation and build 17 million new homes over the next thirty years.

Traditional building is too slow, not least because there is not enough skilled labour to go round. By contrast, industrialised building can offer new housing much faster, meeting specific needs of local authorities.

Laing discovered the 12M Jesperson "homes from the factory" system in Denmark in 1963, and evolved it for the UK with assistance from the Ministry of Housing.

Modular concrete pre-fabricated sections and other parts are assembled on a production line. The unit parts are made in moulds in the factory.

At a housing scheme in Oldham, a model is constructed and design plans drawn up, emphasising the benefits of rationalisation, mechanisation, higher productivity and timely completion. Units are transported from the factory to the site, and are then assembled by a small team. Cladding panels are also factory-produced, removing the need for finishing on the job. Electrical and plumbing fixings are delivered pre-cut for installation, to remove the need for skilled tradesmen.

A couple views a furnished show-flat. There is a variety of property sizes across the development, with a number of finishes available. The 12M Jesperson system points the way to the construction of 17 million homes by 1999.