Sustainable living in the South West

Grayham Tucker, Group Managing Director, for the Western Morning News’ Summer Property Review 

The appeal of a more sustainable lifestyle is intensifying. According to a recent YouGov poll of 10,000 people, nearly a quarter (23%) said they would relocate to a “greener” area if their current city or town doesn’t become more sustainable.

Cavanna Homes has been rooted in the South West for over 100 years and has an unwavering commitment to making it an attractive place to live and work. That’s why, when we build a new community, we consider sustainable transport options, proximity to schools and supermarkets, and access to green space for our homeowners.

Our communities on the outskirts of Exeter are connected to the city’s cycling network, close to supermarkets, parkland, and serviced by bus routes into the city centre. Our more rural community of homes, Oak Mount in the Mid-Devon village of Hemyock, benefits from being a five-minute walk to-and-from the local primary school, and a stop for the school bus is close by for pupils attending Uffculme Secondary School.

Launching this summer is Hollywell Meadow, a development of 40-homes in North Molton, North Devon. As part of this scheme, we look forward to providing a footpath from the car park at the community sports centre to the local primary school, allowing parents and children to walk safely, off-road at drop-off and pick-up time.

As well as making the communities we build more sustainable, we’re also finding new ways to make the homes themselves more efficient and suitable for modern living. Solar PV, air source heat pumps, dual heating systems, high-quality materials including double glazing and insulation, are just some of the ways we’re achieving this whilst we work hard to meet the Future Homes Standard requirements by 2025.

There’s still more to do though, and in our view, sustainability must encompass the whole housebuilding operation. From providing space for nature to thrive and managing the waste generated during construction, right through to the wellbeing of our staff, recruiting and training the next generation of housebuilders and maintaining our commitment to charities.

We invest heavily in the next generation of housebuilders, providing paid, hands-on experience to young people ready to step outside the classroom, but still wanting to gain an industry-recognised qualification.

For the past six years, we’ve proudly supported Children’s Hospice South West to raise awareness and funds for the outstanding care they provide to children with life-limiting conditions. Last year we announced them as our official Charity Partner, committing our long-term support to the incredible charity.

Making space for people and for nature is our mission when building homes for families, first-time buyers, and downsizers. Sensory gardens and designated open green spaces are sanctuaries for reflection and children’s playtime, but they also create vital habitats for wildlife. We’re very proud of our recently completed community at Broadleigh Park in Tavistock, where green space, sustainable drainage systems, and hedgerow enhancements have been prioritised to attract and retain wildlife, as well as maintain the rural nature of the development.

Very shortly, we will be publishing our Sustainability Strategy, a road map that’ll take us on a journey to a more sustainable future. It provides us with targets, direction, and accountability to make our entire operation more sustainable for the well-being of people, places, and nature. We look forward to sharing it with you and continuing our commitment to the South West.