Morris Homes has announced it is to build houses on 10 new sites across the Midlands in a £234 million programme of development.

The schemes are expected to create 850 new jobs for directly-employed staff and subcontractors who will be working to provide more than 1,200 homes.

And they are aiming to have all the sites open for sale within the next 12 months.

The developer, which is one Britain’s biggest independent housebuilders and is now headquartered in Rugby, devised its ambitious plans encouraged by positive sales figures and customer response.

The company’s chief executive, Mike Gaskell, said: “The underlying shortage of new homes in the UK, combined with strong buyer confidence and the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, has created excellent conditions for Morris Homes to embark on a bigger build programme across a broader geography.

“We’re pushing further south, into areas including Bedford and Northampton, following the relocation of our Midlands office to Rugby late last year, and have an active land buying programme which is creating development opportunities in new locations where there’s strong demand for new homes.”

According to the Home Builders Federation (HBF) there were 122,590 new homes started nationally in 2013, up 23 per cent on the previous year and the highest number started in a year since 2007.

There was a further boost in this week’s budget when the Chancellor committed to extending the Help to Buy scheme to 2020.

Some of the developments are still subject to final planning approval but Morris Homes news sites will be at:

The Quarter, Birmingham, West Midlands

The Spires, Coventry, West Midlands

Waters Edge, Wordsley, West Midlands

The Croft, Littlethorpe, Leicestershire

Elmesthorpe Gardens, Elmesthorpe, Leicestershire

Greenlakes Rise, West Wixam, Bedfordshire

Millers Place, Bedford, Bedfordshire

Forest Grange, Swadlincote, Leicestershire

Harrington Park, Rothwell, Northamptonshire

Wooton, Northampton, Northamptonshire