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Meeting the home building challenge of delivering quantity and quality

Government measures to build more houses, faster, and in the places people want to live, has set a real challenge for home builders to maintain the high quality of new builds.

Last October Chancellor Philip Hammond and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced an initiative to “Let’s get Britain building”, setting a target of 25,000 new homes this Parliament – and 200,000 in the longer term – to meet housing need nationally.

Jonathan Cavanna of the 5-Star rated, Torquay-based Cavanna Homes said: “There is a well-recognised shortage of properties for sale and for rent throughout the country and especially here in the South West. We welcomed the government’s announcement in the autumn that the Help to Buy Scheme would continue for new homes until 2020 but our challenge, along with all home builders nationwide, is to maintain quality while meeting higher levels of output.

“There are three essential areas of the homebuilding process that are particularly vulnerable in the process of scaling-up. They are:

  • sourcing additional materials, staff and contractors,
  • committing to Quality Control time at the end of construction and before a sale,
  • finding the best locations for new developments.

“Cavanna Homes builds, primarily in Devon and within two hours of our Torquay headquarters. This means that our senior team can be involved directly in all our projects and helps to ensure the quality of all our new homes.

“We’ve recently received the highest rating of five stars in the 2017 Home Builders Federation (HBF) customer satisfaction survey and Cavanna Homes is the only private house builder based in the South West to have earned this recognition, and one of only six in the country to have been awarded five stars for five years in a row.

“The award is based on customer feedback so it’s a real credit to our team that our new customers continue to rate us highly, and it’s encouraging that the survey shows smaller firms like us in many cases scored more highly than some of the biggest names in the industry nationwide.”

Two of the company’s latest developments are Palstone Meadow in South Brent and Greenspire at Clyst St Mary near Exeter.

Palstone Meadow is within the boundary of the Dartmoor National Park, which when complete will comprise 40 three- and four-bedroom homes, some of which will have impressive views of the moor.

As well as being within easy reach of South Brent’s amenities including a selection of local independent shops, pubs, pharmacy, primary school and a post office, Palstone Meadow is also close to some of the most stunning South Devon beaches. The village offers easy access to the A38, providing direct links to Plymouth and Cornwall in the west and Exeter and the M5 to the east.

Closer to Exeter is Greenspire, on the edge of Clyst St Mary a vibrant village within a short cycle ride or bus ride of Exeter City. The village offers a primary school, community centre, pub, village shop and post office. Cavanna Homes are building 80 new homes; a range of one- to five-bedroom properties in terraced, semi-detached and detached designs. The showhome is expected to open in early summer.

Mr Cavanna said: “Cavanna Homes have been building family homes in the South West for almost a century. Being so rooted in the region we believe we understand the area and its needs, meaning we are well placed to play our part in providing homes people want in the places they want to live in.”