Newsletter of Westleigh Developments Ltd - Autumn 2008
The Perfect Storm
Currently we have banks being rescued or reporting trading problems on what seems like a daily basis, governments pumping billions into their respective economy’s, mounting debt and lack of consumer confidence which has put many of the worlds economy’s in to turmoil and created a storm for the housing industry, affecting house builders, developers and RSLs alike. I am pleased to report that, in spite of the most difficult conditions, having reconsidered our corporate strategy and short term business plan, Westleigh is continuing to trade successfully although be it with reduced sales and profits on previous years. The Business Development department has reported that making deals ‘stack up’ is difficult as our RSL partners are also experiencing difficult trading conditions, with many of them having unsold shared ownership properties tying up much needed cash. At the same time the Housing Corporation is squeezing grant rates to an unmanageable level. We continue to negotiate hard to reduce costs in order to make developments work and have recently agreed terms on projects at Wellington Street Kettering, Park Road Bedworth and Boston Road Sleaford. In the longer term we, like our housing association partners, hope the Housing Corporation will see fit to raise grant rates to allow the further development of much needed affordable housing. The Commercial department have recently opened new developments at Leicester and Towcester, reporting that enquiries remain positive although commencements are at this time dependent on pre-sales or pre-lets. Despite instabilities in the global economy, we are reaping the benefits of having ploughed back profits into the company each year. Our strong balance sheet has built up over the years and is proving resilient to the credit crunch. Our banks are pleased with the progress we continue to make in these difficult trading conditions and are continuing to be positive and provide the support requested despite the current unprecedented conditions for obtaining credit. It is of course very difficult to predict the future, but the Board expect to continue to trade successfully and places its trust in the staff to continue to drive the business forward, and to weather the storm, meeting the expectations of our partners, clients and suppliers alike. Chris Beighton, Managing Director
3D illustration - Brayford Pool, Lincoln
£35m Property Investment
Westleigh’s housing & commercial divisions have commenced their two latest developments in Lincoln, with an investment programme worth approximately £35m. The two sites, Brayford Pool at Green Lane and Cherrybank off Monks Road, signal our largest investment ever in the city and will see a combination of affordable & private housing and offices, built over the next four to five years. The Brayford Pool development will see a mixture of affordable housing and offices built on the site of the former British Rail Social Club adjacent to the Ropewalk roundabout. The residential accommodation will comprise blocks of apartments up to six storeys, along with three-storey houses and will be aimed at both first-time buyers and those approaching retirement. A separate office park will house 40,000sq ft of office space and work is due to begin this August. Meanwhile at Cherrybank, 170 new homes are to be built on the site of a former builder’s yard. Construction is already under way and the development is due to launch early in 2009. Both developments are joint ventures, Brayford Pool with Derwent Living and Cherry Bank with Metropolitan Living Ltd. Ian Jones, Business Development Director said “The joint venture side of both developments makes the schemes both exciting & interesting, working closely with both Derwent and Metropolitan.” Matt Moore, Property Director comments, “We are delighted to announce the arrival of these two new developments to Lincoln. The city has seen a lot of investment over recent years with huge growth in the student population and good transport links, making it a highly desirable location to both live and work. Westleigh has a superb track record of developing both residential and commercial properties across the East Midlands and we expect these developments to prove extremely popular.”
Vista Park, Kettering
Vista’s Prime Kettering Location
Named Vista Park due to its prominent position, the 30,000sq ft site is located just off the A14, on the entrance to the Telford Way Industrial Estate, opposite Kettering General Hospital and encompasses nine single-storey individual trade units of a variety of sizes from 1,380sq ft up to 5,000sq ft which can be combined to provide larger footprints. Interest in the trade park is already high, with units already reserved by three nationwide companies. Work is expected to begin in the Autumn with the first occupiers due to arrive in April 2009. The proposed design will see two main buildings, currently subdivided into four units each, occupying the north and south of the site with a smaller unit adjacent to Telford Way in the southwest corner. All buildings combine contemporary timber frame construction with modern, environmentally friendly features, plentiful onsite and additional landscaping with the planting of trees and shrubs. Matt Moore, Property Director at Westleigh, comments, “We are delighted to announce our second investment in Kettering which follows the success of our first commercial development at Orion Park. Companies are increasingly on the look out for highly accessible and modern eco-friendly commercial sites to relocate to. Vista Park firmly fits this profile thanks to its high level of specification and accessible position just off the A14, with easy links to both the M1 and A1.” Mark Brown, joint letting agent at Budworth Hardcastle, adds, “Vista Park is to be a dedicated trade park designed for companies looking to conduct sales to trade and will be built in an established industrial and retail area surrounded by several big names such as Howdens Joinery, Jewson and Topps Tiles. The fact that Kettering does not currently have such a site means that we expect there to be a significant amount of interest in this development. Add to this its highly visible and prominent location, plus the three firms who have already reserved units and we believe Vista Park will be a great success.”
Westleigh Secures £14.1 million Affordable Housing Funds
The Business Development Department are delighted to be able to announce that we have recently received confirmation of additional funding allocations from The Housing Corporation in the sum of £8 million. This results in a current total allocation to Westleigh Developments of £14.1million. This additional grant allocation will allow us to build an additional 177 affordable houses with a development value of £23 million. Business Development Director, Ian Jones, said that “this is excellent news for Westleigh, it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Housing Corporation as a Lead Partner and our continued drive to provide affordable houses for our housing association partners”. Gary Turner, Head of Partnerships & Investment confirmed that the new allocations would provide affordable properties for East Midlands, LHA-ASRA, Derwent Living and Riverside Housing Associations. Gary stated that “We are delighted with the way that our RSL partners have worked with us to deliver these allocations and pointed to a forward pipeline of 1,200 plus homes which we will be presenting to The Housing Corporation with our partners over the next 6 to 12 months.”
Ian Jones & Gary Turner
Westframe Increases Profile
Westframe, Westleigh’s timberframe manufacturing division, have recently completed three timber frame contracts with external clients. Six penthouse apartments at Station Road, Ashby-de-la-Zouch we r e manufactured for Living-by-D’zign. The rapid construction opportunities that the Westframe product provides was clear to see when a full structural package was supplied to Moseley Brown Developments for their project at Coplow Lane. The timber frame of a detached dormer-bungalow was completed within 2 weeks of being delivered to site. Steve Marshall, Westframe’s Production Manager, commented; “The recent external Aspect projects are running extremely well. The Eco House in Mountsorrel is nearing completion and stands to be a benchmark project. Working for Baggeley & Jenkins as the timber frame supplier and erector, the project will be the first house in Leicestershire and one of few in the country to achieve the highest rating (Code 6) for Sustainable Homes, which provides a Zero Carbon home.” Dave Thacker said, “The spot light was on our design, documentation, material sourcing and product quality. The timber frame was made up of the ‘Westframe Plus’ system, which utilises recycled materials for exterior sheathing board, a superior performing reflective membrane and recycled paper as a form of insulation.”
Show Home Opens at Church Place
A brand new show home is now open to homebuyers in Loughborough. The threebedroom semi-detached home known as the Epping at Westleigh New Homes Church Place development on Thorpe Acre Road has been stylishly designed by Enderby-based, interior design specialists The Room Interiors. Elizabeth Archer, Director for The Room Interiors comments, "We have created a relaxing, beach-house feel with a selection of warm, oak and cream colours, which is not a typical style of show home, but still one that appears extremely attractive and desirable.” Robert Orr, Westleigh New Homes Manager says, "The homes at Church Place have been designed specifically for the location, respecting the adjacent traditional architecture and have a period style to them. All properties are finished to our usual high specification, which includes integrated appliances, en-suite shower rooms and contemporary fixtures and fittings, plus all have a garage along with allocated parking." Church Place features just fourteen two and three-storey, semi-detached and terraced cottage style homes along with an impressive detached four-bedroom home laid out over three floors. These homes feature attractive architectural detailing, such as decorative ironwork to the porches of the Sherwood's, whilst an extensive landscaping programme has also been undertaken to create a green and pleasant living environment.
All of us at Westleigh would like to congratulate Business Development Manager, Simon Preston and new wife Rebecca on their recent wedding. They were married at Noseley Hall in Leicestershire at the end of June and were fortunate enough to have picked a glorious sunny day! The morning registry service was followed by a wedding blessing in the 13th century chapel. Evening guests were entertained with a jazz swing band, after a visit from the local ice cream van! They soon left for their honeymoon in America which was crowned with a week in Hawaii. Once again many congratulations to the happy couple.
So Good We Ran it Twice !
With only weeks remaining, Craig Johnson, ICT Manager is training hard for this year’s New York City marathon on 2nd November 2008. No stranger to the odd few miles, Craig has completed 9 half marathons with his first full marathon being the 2006 London Marathon which he completed in a time of 4:47. Craig said “I know the mistakes that I made in London, so I’m training with a real purpose this time around. A sub-four hour marathon is one of those milestone achievements for many runners. I’m confident of a personal best and would like to think that I can get close to 4 hours on the day. “ Craig follows in the footsteps of Westframe Manager, David Thacker, who with Kevin Smith of Eon, ran the New York course in 2004 in a highly respectable time of 4:09, raising £5360 for charity in the process.
Investing Brings Success
In line with the company’s Investors in People commitment, Westleigh are delighted to congratulate a further three employees on successfully completing NVQ training. Oliver Brotherton has completed and achieved an NVQ-3 in Bricklaying. Stephen Stanhope & Andy Foulkes have both successfully completed an NVQ-3 in Carpentry & Joinery.
Westleigh Wonder Girls
On 6th July 2008, the Westleigh Wonder Girls, looking glamorous in their pink T-shirts, joined approximately 2,000 other ladies on Western Park, Leicester to run 5K in Cancer Research’s “Race for Life”. It was a very wet, cold and windy day, but these hazardous conditions didn’t dampen the spirits of the Westleigh girls who all finished the race in a respectable time – some quicker than others! Congratulations to Bev S, Julie F, Louise, Caroline, Emma, Judy, Bev D, Lorraine, Kim, Lesley, Julie R, Helen & Jan who raised a whopping £1,500 for Cancer Research. Thanks to all of those who generously sponsored the girls.
High Degree of Success
After a total of 5 years of part time studying at Derby University, 3 of which were with the support and sponsorship of Westleigh, we are pleased to congratulate Project Manager, Matt Finnie on completing his BSc(Hons) degree in Construction Management . Matt said “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Westleigh and my colleagues within the Business Development department for the support and guidance that they have provided over the past few years.” Glutton for punishment, Matt is now working towards achieving Member status of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
WESTLEIGH DEVELOPMENTS LTD Tudorgate, Grange Business Park Enderby Road, Whetstone Leicester. LE8 6EP
Registered in England : 2165362
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t : 0116 277 3324 f : 0116 278 4581 email@example.com www.westleigh.co.uk