Planning permission has been approved for the construction of 3 four-storey blocks of modular apartments, which will comprise 96 one and two-bedroom homes. Of these, 32 new apartments will be affordable.

All 96 apartments will be precision-engineered along high-tech production lines at TopHat’s factory in South Derbyshire.

TopHat is delivering almost 300 new homes at the 4.8-acre Kitchener Barracks site. The new homes are being delivered across three phases, with over 100 already delivered by the modular housing company.


Work is expected to start on site in the new year, creating a number of jobs both in Kent and Derbyshire.

The new apartments will be the first TopHat has ever delivered and signals the company’s move to delivering alternative residential assets for investors, such as build-to-rent and co-living schemes. The company is backed by a £75 million investment from Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank which has been building its build-to-rent portfolio over the last few years.

By manufacturing their apartments offsite, TopHat is able to cut delivery times by half compared to traditional methods, making the company’s approach more appealing to developers of all types, but particularly in the build-to-rent and co-living markets.


This third phase at Kitchener Barracks sees the delivery of a further 183 homes and includes repurposing the early 20th century barracks to deliver 68 apartments plus 19 two and four-bedroom houses.

Dating from 1757 and named after Earl Kitchener in 1928, the Kitchener Barracks site is an important local landmark, most recently used as accommodation for the Royal School of Military Engineering. This heritage has been referenced throughout the design of the new neighbourhood, with updated and refurbished buildings taking centre stage and mature greenery being given a new lease of life.

All private-sale homes at Kitchener Barracks will be sold by TopHat on the open market.

“This latest milestone at Kitchener Barracks will see us begin the delivery of our first apartments. These new apartments demonstrate the solid growth of our business as we continue to diversify our product range to help our clients.

“Kitchener Barracks has been a huge focus of ours for the last few years and we’re extremely proud to be delivering these new, sustainable homes.”

Andrew Shepherd, managing director at TopHat, comments: