Saturday, 21 April 2018

Larkfleet experts on hand to advise new homebuyers at Lincolnshire residential property show

Lincolnshire Residential Property Show
We’re going to be attending the Lincolnshire Residential Property Show in May. The show has been devised to showcase the county's booming residential property sector.

If you are looking to buy, sell, move, rent, improve or renovate there will be an expert on hand to give you advice.

It's a free-to-attend exhibition, with stands ranging from estate agents, kitchen and bathroom suppliers, furniture and homeware retailers, interior designers, financial advisors, utility companies and solicitors, plus a series of seminars throughout the day.

The team from Larkfleet will be on hand to give you advice on buying a new home and what options are available to help you into the house of your dreams. We have developments across the county in Bourne and Pinchbeck and new developments on the way in Boston, Horncastle, Louth and Nettleham.

The Home Show is open from 10am - 4pm on Sunday 6 May at the Epic Exhibition Centre on the Lincolnshire Showground, just south of Lincoln on the A15.

Visit https://lincolnshireshowground.co.uk/whats-on/event/home-show for more information.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

ISAs for first time buyers

Larkfleet Homes ISAs for first time buyers
Let’s face it. It isn’t easy buying your first home. There are so many things to consider, not least of which is where the money is going to come from to cover the deposit. Many of us have turned to the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ for help. But for most of us, the only option is to save for it.

Saving for a deposit can take a while. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some help available to speed things up a bit? Well there is. It comes in the shape of the shape of the government’s Help to Buy ISA. If you are saving to buy your first home, save money into a Help to Buy: ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25 per cent. So, for every £200 you save, receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000. Click here for more information on Help to Buy ISAs.

To qualify for a Help to Buy ISA you need to be a first time buyer over the age of 16, resident in the UK and have a National Insurance number. To qualify for the government bonus, the property you are buying must be in the UK and have a purchase price of up to £250,000 (or up to £450,000 in London). You must buy the property with a mortgage and it must be the only home you will own and where you intend living.

Help to Buy ISAs for first time buyers are available from all the major high street banks and most major building societies.

Money Advice Service and Money Saving Expert provide more detailed information on what's available and from where.

At Larkfleet Homes we have many developments with homes for first time buyers. Help to Buy is available so please give us a call or visit our website and let us help you into your first home today.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Why buying new is a 'no brainer'

Moving or relocating? Buying a new-build home is a no brainer.

According to the Homebuilders’ Federation, over 90 per cent of new homebuyers said that they would buy a new build home again. More than 86 per cent said they would recommend their home builder to a friend - a two per cent year-on-year increase.

Customer satisfaction levels for new homes compare favourably with any other industry or product and help explain why demand for new homes continues to increase.

As part of our commitment to improving quality even further we are undertaking our own customer satisfaction survey. Click here to take the survey and help us to raise our customer service levels even higher.

But why buy new in the first place? A new Larkfleet home is fresh, bright, clean and untouched by previous owners’ choice of d├ęcor. It is a blank canvas on which you and your family can stamp your own style and personality. New homes are also much more energy efficient than older homes. This means they are better for the environment but can also save their owners hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills.

There are lots of ways to buy a new home! Sometimes, buying a house can seem like an impossible dream. But people looking to buy new have a range of options, such as Help to Buy or part exchange schemes. These can help make the goal of homeownership more affordable and completely achievable.

You can be sure that you will get a high build quality. New homes are built to a higher standard than ever before. From state-of-the-art kitchens to modern double and triple glazing, the quality of a new home compared to old is evident in many ways.

New homes are designed for modern living. They incorporate a range of modern designs and technologies to provide for the needs of today’s home owner. To upgrade an older house to the standards of a new build home could cost up to £45,000.

New homes are also more economical to manage. New homes built in the UK are roughly 50 per cent cheaper to run per year than the equivalent Victorian house. That could mean an annual saving of £440 for a 1-bed ground floor flat, and £1,410 for a 4-bed detached house.

By buying a new home you will be doing your bit for the environment. New homes are environmentally friendly. Energy efficiency standards and CO2 emissions in new homes are some of the best in the world. On average, this equates to them being roughly 65 per cent more energy efficient than an equivalent Victorian house.

Lastly, the peace of mind you get with a new home is more than just knowing you’re buying quality and getting excellent value for money. It’s also about being confident in the product you’re buying and knowing that you’re protected should anything happen. New homebuyers are protected by their builder’s guarantee as well an independent 10-year warranty. Customers also benefit from the peace of mind given by Consumer Codes.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Home security on a budget

home security on budget
The basis of home security is a good set of locks on doors and windows. Starting with the front door here are some of the kinds of locks you should consider fitting to ensure your home is secure. Or if you have locks fitted already, use this guide to take a look at them and see whether they are good enough.

Locks are your 'first line of defence' and it is important that they look strong (to deter burglars) and are actually strong (to stop burglars if they are not deterred).
  • The mortice deadlock is one of the most common types of door lock. It needs a key to lock it and to open it. Mortice denotes that the lock is set into the door. The levers inside the lock are pushed up in relation to the shape of the key to allow the bolt to move. The more levers the better but five is the maximum for residential locks currently. The deadlock is the bolt which slides into the doorframe to secure the door.
  • Mortice sash locks have a deadlock, but they also have a latch bolt. This means that the door can be opened from the inside with a latch when the deadlock is not engaged. It is still secure from the outside.
  • Rim locks are like mortice deadbolts but are surface-mounted rather than recessed into the door. The box contains a lock and a latch. Rim locks are usually fitted where the door is too thin to admit a mortice but they are less secure.
  • Key operated multi-point locking systems are found on modern uPVC and composite doors. They bolt the door into the frame and lock it at various points.
  • Night latches secure the door as soon as it’s closed. They can be opened from the outside by a key and can be deadlocked from the inside by sliding a ‘snib’ button into place. This type of lock is fitted to the surface of the door.

All these types of locks can be found in DIY chains like B&Q, Homebase or Wickes.

Securing doors

Fit a five-lever mortice dead lock which conforms to British Standard 3621 or European Standard EN 12209.

Avoid glazed panels if you can but if you do have them make sure they are laminated or toughened glass.

Fit a spy hole and a chain limiter.

Fit a five-lever sash lock half way up the back door and make sure it conforms to the appropriate British or European standard. Supplement the lock with mortice sash bolts at the top and bottom of the door.

Use extra locks on French windows and patio doors, such as multi-locking system. These kinds of doors are a burglar’s favourite way to get into your home.

Securing windows

Modern windows will probably have latches that are already fitted with locks. Older windows may not so you may need to retro-fit locks. Sash locks are fine, but you will need to keep the keys to hand in case of emergency.

Fit window alarms which are much cheaper than a full-on alarm system. They are triggered by vibrations on the window glass and have sirens which emit 100 decibels. You could also install exterior dummy alarm boxes. You need to make them look as authentic as possible. Make sure they have LED lights.

CCTV systems fitted in a visible location make a great deterrent. There are many budget systems available. You could also consider fitting dummy cameras which can be had for as little as £10 online.

It is not all locks, bolts and cameras when it comes to security. Your garden can help you make the house secure.

Plant spiny shrubs like pyracantha, berberis or holly on boundaries. Don’t plant them so that they can be used to shield an intruder trying to break in.

Gravel drives making a satisfying crunching sound as they are walked on. Things that create noise deter intruders. You could also fit some external lighting for added peace of mind.

Finally, when you’re out at night or away for a while fit a timer so that your interior lights come on at various times and in different rooms.

Stay safe!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

10k in the woods a run away success for Bourne Rotary

The Larkfleet Group of Companies sponsors Bourne Run in the Wood
If you went down to the woods on Sunday morning you would have been surprised by the runners in the annual Bourne Run in the Woods event.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Bourne, our parent company The Larkfleet Group of Companies was again delighted to be one of the event’s sponsors.

The Run in the Woods is an established highlight of the local sporting calendar. It is a popular and very competitive 10k run with a record time of 34.18 minutes.

This year’s race was won by 19-year-old Bourne Town Harriers runner Scott Taylor in a time of 36.51. John Herbert finished in 2nd place and Stamford Strider Jonathan Taylor finished in 3rd.

The winner of the ladies’ race was Katie Arnold of Stamford Striders in 43.07. Joanne Mark of Colchester Harriers was in 2nd spot and 3rd place went to Sally Hart.

The organisers told us: “It was a very successful event which we hope will continue in future years. We do acknowledge the importance of the support which we receive from local sponsors such as The Larkfleet Group, without whom the charitable work which we in Rotary carry out would not be possible”.

Congratulations and well done to all the runners and organisers. We hope you can do it all again next year!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

First-time buyers better off than renters

first time buyer cheaper to buy than rent
Thinking of buying your new first new home? You’ve been around a few Larkfleet Homes’ developments, you’ve picked out your dream home. You’ve checked your finances but you’re still not 100 per cent sure you’re ready to take the plunge. Perhaps renting is cheaper?

Well think again. According to research from the Halifax Building Society, buying a home is £900 a year cheaper than renting. The research also found that first-time buyers can save £27,000 over the term of their mortgage. That’s almost as much as the average deposit (currently £31,751).

The latest Halifax Buying versus Renting Review found that the average cost of buying a three-bed home in the UK, including mortgage payments, was £679 a month in December 2017, compared to the average monthly rent of £754 for the same property type.

The gap between the cost of buying and renting is now at its highest in four years, up 44 per cent from last year’s £623 saving to £900 a year.

Buying is consistently more financially attractive than renting across the UK. In the region where Larkfleet is building, the average monthly saving is £94.

Nationally, the average monthly cost of buying has dropped 22 per cent (£192) since 2008, while rental payments have jumped by the same amount (22 per cent or £138).

Russell Galley, Halifax managing director, told us: “The gap between buying and renting has widened significantly, primarily driven by a reduction in mortgage rates and a more competitive market pushing down monthly payments. Meanwhile, the cost of rent, household
maintenance and average deposits have remained broadly flat.

“Despite having to put down a sizeable deposit up front, homeowners are overall better off than renters in all parts of the UK. But those who are unable to get onto the property ladder because they can’t raise enough cash are paying more by renting.

“The good news is that record numbers of first-time buyers are still taking their first step on to the ladder and helping to bridge this gap thanks to a continued low-rate environment and government schemes including Help to Buy.”

Financially it’s a no-brainer. So, first time buyer but thinking of renting? Take a look at our developments to find the house of your dreams today.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

First time buyers pay no Stamp Duty on properties under £300,000

stamp duty first time buyer Larkfleet Homes
It’s never been a better time to be a first-time buyer in the UK – especially when it comes to Stamp Duty.

Stamp Duty (officially known as Stamp Duty Land Tax or SDLT) is a fee that house buyers have to pay on properties over a particular value.  It is calculated as a percentage of the price of the property.

Are you a first-time buyer - someone who is buying their only or main residence and has never owned a freehold or had a leasehold interest in a residential property in the UK or abroad? If so, we can let you into a little secret. The government has recently slashed the amount of Stamp Duty you have to pay.

In the Autumn 2017 Budget, Philip Hammond axed Stamp Duty on homes costing up to £300,000. Since the average cost of a house in the UK stood at £225,621 in January according to the latest government figures, and assuming you would otherwise have had to pay Stamp Duty at two per cent, you could save over £4,000 under the new system.

Think what you could do with that extra cash. You could put it towards new furniture, re-decoration, improving your garden – the list goes on.

It also means that you can afford that new build home you have been dreaming of. For example, Larkfleet Homes has an array of options perfectly suited for first-time buyers. And because there is no Stamp Duty on properties under £300,000 there is a wide choice of new homes to suit any budget.

Not only that, there are schemes available to assist you including Help to Buy. So, what’s stopping you making the move? Visit one of our developments and find out how Larkfleet Homes can help you into your dream home.

Easter weekend Armageddon

Easter weekend supermarket opening times
As the Easter Bank Holiday weekend approaches some of us less organised folks might be starting to worry about having enough supplies in. Often, we go to the supermarket and it’s like the world is about to end. Everyone and their granny is battling around the shelves stocking up on ‘essentials’.

But there’s no need to worry. Most shops are still open. And although supermarkets run limited hours and are closed on Easter Sunday – when we were young they were closed every Sunday, go figure – a little planning will help you to keep the household running smoothly should you start to run out of loo roll, baked beans or bread.

Here’s the low down on supermarket opening hours this Easter weekend:

ASDA
Good Friday 7am – 10pm
Saturday 7am – 10pm
Easter Sunday CLOSED
Easter Monday 7am – 8pm

Morrisons
Good Friday 6am – 10pm
Saturday 6am – 10pm
Easter Sunday – CLOSED
Easter Monday – 8am – 7pm

Sainsburys
Good Friday 7am – 10pm
Saturday 7am – 10pm
Easter Sunday – CLOSED
Easter Monday 9am – 7pm

Tesco
Good Friday 7am – 10pm
Saturday 7am – 10pm
Easter Sunday CLOSED
Easter Monday 9am – 6pm

Waitrose
Good Friday 8am – 8pm
Saturday 7am – 9pm
Easter Sunday CLOSED
Easter Monday 8am – 6pm

Local opening times may vary a little so go online and check the times for your local store.

So, apart from limited opening on Monday, the shops are only closed for a day. Don’t panic! Just ‘keep calm and carry on’.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Get on your bike this Easter

Cycling Easter Holidays Larkfleet Homes
The Easter holidays are approaching rapidly, and the days are getting longer thanks to the long-awaited arrival of British Summer Time.

If you’re anything like some us here at Larkfleet Homes, you’re probably thinking about getting out and about for a bit of fresh air and exercise.

But what can you do with all the family during the holidays to enjoy the great outdoors, and get the benefit of exercise at the same time, without breaking the bank?

Cycling is one answer. Experts are agreed that there are significant health benefits attached to cycling. And it’s an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Here are just a few of the benefits of cycling:

Well being – There are many ways that physical activity can boost your mood. Adrenalin and endorphins released by exercise combine to make you feel good and getting out on your bike is a great way to explore your area and enjoy the views.

Weight loss – Cycling can burn between 400 and 1,000 calories an hour depending on the amount of effort you put in and your weight. Doing more will burn more and if you eat well and sleep well you should lose weight.

Boosts the immune system – Cycling can help promote healthy lungs and cuts the risk of heart disease and cancer. It’s low-impact so the risk of injury is lower than for running or other high-impact aerobic exercise. The best way to build your cardiovascular fitness on the bike is to ride for at least 150 minutes every week.

For example, you could cycle to work a few days a week, or do a couple of shorter rides during the week with a longer ride at the weekend. You'll soon feel the benefits.

In addition to all the health benefits and the opportunity to have some quality time together as a family, cycling is also kind to the environment. And it needn’t cost the earth. Most of us have a got a few bikes in the shed or hiding in the back of the garage.

Just make sure you check your bikes for safety before you pedal off. Check the tyres, brakes, handlebars and steering. Make sure the chain, gears and pedals are working smoothly. You don’t need to spend a fortune but at the very least make sure you wear a helmet.

Stuck for somewhere to go on your bike? There lots of places to cycle around Rutland and Peterborough. Check out the Green Wheel, which has cycle routes that take in the countryside, back roads and lanes around Peterborough and Stamford and link up with national cycle routes if you want to venture further afield.

Don’t fancy riding on the roads? Explore the off-road cycle routes in country parks like Ferry Meadows in Peterborough or Rutland Water. The beauty of riding in parks is that you're never too far from a cafe for coffee, cake or icecream!

Whatever you decide to do, have a great time!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Getting enough sleep?

Sleep health
According to a recently published book called Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker, losing sleep can be linked to several fatal diseases.

The professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California argues that sleep deprivation is as bad for us as smoking or drinking too much.


The bare minimum we need is seven hours’ uninterrupted sleep a night, Professor Walker says.

So, how do we ensure we are getting enough sleep, apart from going to bed early enough?

The first thing to do is to make sure your bed is adequate. You may not realise it but an uncomfortable, unsupportive bed makes a difference to how well you sleep. According to research replacing an uncomfortable bed with a new bed was associated with an increase of 42 minutes sleep – who wouldn’t want that?

And according to other research a 10-year old bed will have deteriorated by as much as 70 per cent from its new state. Not only that; Ohio State University experts report that a typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites inside it.

The National Bed Federation recommends that we should think about replacing our beds every seven years.

When you have sorted out your bed you need a room to put it in. Creating the perfect bedroom will help you to get a solid amount of shut eye and have plenty of health benefits.

  • Choose a neutral colour palette to aid restfulness.
  • Keep the room decluttered.
  • Make lighting low and subdued – have a decent quality bedside light for enough illumination to read by.
  • Use calming essential oils to create the right aromas. Lavender oil is thought help you fall asleep faster.
  • Don’t have the room too hot or too stuffy. Keep the room cool and open a window to circulate fresh air.
  • Make the room your personal sanctuary. Here are some ideas for decorating your bedroom. 

When you have the perfect room remember the adage - "Early to bed, early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise".

Good night!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Larkfleet Homes nominated for another prestigious industry award

Larkfleet Homes Resi Awards
There’s a chance we may have to clear some more space in the awards cabinet - because we’re delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for another prestigious house building award.

This time it’s the Resi Awards Small Developer of the Year. According to the organisers there were a record number of entries so we’re really pleased that we achieved a spot on the shortlist.

We’ll find out if we win at a ceremony in at Grosvenor House, London, on 16 May.

It’s great news. We were able to demonstrate to the judges our innovation, vision and boldness and how our philosophy has led to significant development activity and sales over the past year.

There have been a few challenges to overcome along the way but we have achieved strong financial performance.

Congratulations to the whole Larkfleet Homes team. Let’s hope it’s enough to impress the judges and that we walk away with a gong in May.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Public exhibition in Sawtry today

We're looking forward to seeing lots of local residents when we launch a public consultation in Sawtry this evening about plans for a development of around 350 new homes on land off Glatton Road, Sawtry.

Plan for new Larkfleet Homes development in Sawtry
The proposed development would include a mixture of one and two-storey properties ranging from one to four-bedroom homes and a number of bungalows. The homes would be designed to meet the needs of a range of people from first-time buyers to families. Some of the homes would be ‘affordable’ to assist those struggling to get onto the ‘property ladder’.

The proposal also includes space for new community facilities as well as areas of public open space, including play areas for children.

We are holding a public exhibition of the proposals this evening (Monday 19 March 2018) between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm at Sawtry Village Academy Library, Fen Lane, Sawtry, PE28 5TH. If you live in Sawtry or nearby, please do come along!

Members of the development project team will be on hand at the exhibition to answer questions about the proposals. Feedback forms will also be available to allow people to leave their comments and ideas.

David Morris, our senior land manager, said: “The new development in Sawtry would provide much-needed housing and space for new community facilities which will benefit new and existing residents.

“We are keen to work with the local community to try and help address existing issues such as constrained community facilities and provisions for the young community in Sawtry village. The opportunity for input from the local community is an important part of the planning process and I would like to encourage people to attend the public exhibition where they can ask questions and provide us with their feedback.”

The proposed plans are also available to view online at www.larkfleetplanning.co.uk/sawtry.

Our illustration shows the location of the proposed new Larkfleet Homes site off Glatton Road, Sawtry, outlined in red.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Things to do with the kids this Easter



Larkfleet Homes Easter activities for kids
As the Easter holidays approach families are faced with the usual problem of finding something to occupy the kids.

To help you hatch your Easter plans we have collated this run down of Easter-themed events that you can visit in some of the areas where we have developments.


Easter Eggstravganza at Peterborough Museum Sat 31 March: There’ll be lots of family fun with an egg hunt trail, face painting, Easter storytelling and egg decorating - plus discover where some of today's Easter traditions come from. You can just drop in for this Eggs-traordinary family fun, but book ahead to beat the queues.

Sacrewell Farm, Peterborough There are several events happening over Easter at Sacrewell Farm that the kids will love including a chocolate Easter egg workshop, Easter Egg-stravaganza and breakfast with the Easter Bunny – not to mention a lambing experience. You’ll need to book ahead for that one.

Ferry Meadows Country Park in Peterborough has a number of things going on over the Easter holidays including an Easter egg hunt and a holiday nature trail for the kids. Follow the link to the website to find out more.

Burghley House Easter Egg Hunt is on Sunday 1 April. The popular Easter Egg Hunt will once again be taking place in the Gardens of Surprise, from 11am to 5pm (last admission 4.30pm). Follow the treasure hunt around the Gardens of Surprise and solve the riddle to claim your full-size chocolate egg from the Easter Bunny.

Bourne Woods: Easter Trail is on Easter Monday April 2. It is a short trail around part of the wood based on dinosaurs. All are welcome from 2pm to 4pm. There will be a small charge for activities, but every entrant receives a prize.

The National Trust Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts -  There are several in the area.  Lyveden Bede House near Corby, Woolsthorpe Manor near Colsterworth, Belton House near Grantham and Peckover House near Wisbech are all hosting an event.

Whatever you do the Larkfleet Homes team would like to wish you a Happy Easter.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Larkfleet Easter treats

Larkfleet Homes Easter hot cross buns
We’re almost half way through March. The snow has gone, but more is predicted. Astronomical Spring is just a fortnight away – and so is Easter.

Along with Easter comes a wealth of food for us to enjoy, especially if you have been denying yourself something for Lent.

One Easter treat is the hot crossed bun, traditionally served on Good Friday. This sweet and spicy treat is great toasted and served with butter. You can get them at any supermarket – and chances are they have been available since New Year.

But it’s much more fun to bake your own. There are loads of recipes out there. The BBC website has this recipe, or you could try this one. Have your own Bake Off at home - see who can produce the best Easter treats.

Paul Hollywood is still popular right now. Why not give his recipe for hot cross buns a try? You can find it here.

Another traditional food served at Easter is the Simnel Cake. It is a fruit cake with a marzipan topping decorated with marzipan balls representing Jesus and the apostles.

Traditionally served on the middle Sunday of Lent when the 40-day fasting rule was relaxed, Simnel cake is served toasted at Easter. The cake was also given by serving girls to their mums when they visited home on Mothering Sunday.

Again, there is a vast number of recipes for Simnel cake but have a look at these two, one from Delia Smith and the other from TV’s Paul Hollywood again. Pick your favourite, on your marks, get set - Bake!

As well as buns and cakes there are also plenty of chocolate treats to enjoy at this time of year. It is also becoming popular to serve a special Sunday lunch at Easter. Usually, this might be ham or lamb. IF you need some ideas, visit the BBC website for inspiration.

Happy Easter from the Larkfleet Homes team.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Larkfleet nominated for community work

Larkfleet Homes Better Society Awards shortlist
Fabulous news. The team at Larkfleet Homes has been shortlisted to win a Better Society Award for philanthropy. We’re very excited and really pleased that the work we do in the communities where we have developments has received national recognition.

We have been nominated because of The Larkfleet Homes Community Fund, which was set up to help communities in the areas where we are building. The fund supports charitable projects that enhance or develop a local community. It is part of our commitment to supporting the existing communities within which we and Allison Homes are developing new homes. It also underlines our aim of helping the integration of our new developments within those communities.

Any charitable cause or community project that operates within ten miles (16 kilometres) of any Larkfleet Homes or Allison Homes development can apply for grants of between £250 and £5,000 awarded quarterly.

The fund has welcomed applications from groups that promote the environment, support residents or bring communities together. In the most recent funding round grants were awarded to each of seven projects that have made a positive impact within their communities.
  • Thorney Parish Council, for a zip-wire, trampolines, outdoor gym and swings for the older children of Thorney.
  • Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust received a grant of £1,450 to provide wood-working equipment for retiree volunteers to produce signage for interpretation and education.
  • Donnington Parish Council received a grant of £475 towards a garden shed, tools, a bird table, compost, plants and decking to form herb and wild flower beds.
  • Families First Peterborough CIC received a grant of £1,000 to fund an arts and crafts workshop for young people /adults who are Care Leavers.
  • Sawtry and District Bowling Club received a grant of £1,045 to provide two ramps to improve access to the bowling green and club house.
  • Moulton Chapel Youth & Community Centre, to build a playground including inclusive play equipment for children of all abilities.
  • Somerset Sight Limited received a grant of £5,000 to reduce isolation and loneliness by providing six additional outings for 12 sight impaired adults per outing.
The fund is open for applications here.

In the meantime, we’ve got our fingers crossed for the awards ceremony on 24 May when we will find out if we have won!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Larkfleet helps Oakham RFC U16s look the business on tour

Oakham RFC U16 rugby tour Larkfleet Homes shirt sponsor
We are really pleased to be helping youngsters at Oakham Rugby Football Club do the business on their latest tour by sponsoring the shirts worn by players and coaches of the club’s Under 16 team.

Each tour organised by the club has a dedicated players’ shirt which is in the club colours but is always different to the standard club design. The new shirts, featuring the club badge and Larkfleet Homes logo on the front, with the player's nickname and number on the back, are for the U16s Dearne Valley tour.

The tour will include a stay at an outdoor adventure centre at Kingswood, Dearne Valley, Doncaster. There will be a series of outdoor activities such as high ropes and abseiling. On Sunday the team will travel to Dinnington RFC for a game, then come home on Sunday evening.

Coach James Ritchie told us that this season is Oakham U16's last in junior rugby before moving into the Colts. It is also the players’ GCSE year, so they have just finished their mock GCSE's and therefore we are taking them on tour in April.

James said: “Next year the players go onto different FE colleges and we will probably lose some of this team as a result, so it’s probably the last time the whole side will be together. 

"Having Larkfleet sponsor the shirts has been a very generous gift as the shirts are an additional cost to each player on top of the cost of the tour, which includes transport, accommodation and food. So, we are very thankful to Larkfleet for their sponsorship of our tour shirts.”

We are very pleased to sponsor the Oakham U16’s tour shirts. It’s an important time for this age group and the new shirts will be a great memento of their time with Oakham RFC U16s and their tour – something they will be able to keep for the future.

Let's hope they have a good tour and come back with a win!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Best ever business awards at Kings Lynn

Sam Hart Larkfleet Homes VIda Healthcare Kings Lynn Business Awards
Our sister company Larkfleet Homes Norfolk and Suffolk was delighted to help last Friday’s Kings Lynn Mayor’s Business Awards go with a bang.

The winners and finalists were the stars of the night, but we were delighted to help the organisers – the borough council and Lynn News – by sponsoring an award.

Our own director of sales Sam Hart was there to hand over the Customer Care Award to healthcare provider Vida Healthcare. The firm provides care to 37,000 patients in West Norfolk.

Sam said that Vida Healthcare won the award because it ‘goes the extra mile’. She told the Lynn News “Their ability to deliver a personal service to their customers and their staff is truly impressive. This is an organisation to be proud of.”

On receiving the award from Sam, Sarah Hill of Vida Healthcare said: “It is not an easy job. This shows what we are doing matters. We would like to thank everybody who has supported us throughout this as well as out patients. This is a patient nominated award.”

You can find a full run down of all the award winners here.

Larkfleet Homes would like to congratulate all the nominees and winners.

Photo: Sam Hart (right) handing over the trophy to Vida Healthcare.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Happy birthday Larkfleet

Birthday balloons - Larkfleet is 20 years oldToday (2 March 2018) is the 20th ‘birthday’ of what is now The Larkfleet Group of Companies, our parent company.

Larkfleet Limited, the first company in the group, was registered at Companies House on 2 March 1998 by current chief executive Karl Hick. That company was the basis of what is now known as Larkfleet Homes that is still the 'flagship' business in the group.

Today The Larkfleet Group of Companies is an award-winning business which is
building homes under both the Allison Homes and Larkfleet Homes brands, employing more than 100 people and turning over more than £80 million per year.

Its customers and clients include not just homebuyers but also local authorities, housing associations and solar farm developers.

The group has a particular focus on sustainable development.

Karl Hick said: “We aim to achieve environmental best practice and sustainability in the projects we deliver for customers and also in our own business operations.

“Our investment in research and development will benefit future generations. Our current R&D projects could revolutionise the construction industry with innovative techniques for low-cost building and technologies which will permit house building in areas prone to flooding.

“Wherever possible we place contracts with local suppliers and employ local people. We support local communities through our Larkfleet Homes Community Fund, by working with local schools and charities and by sponsoring business awards which celebrate the achievements of local companies.”

Larkfleet is a major supporter of training initiatives and is a sponsor of the Greater Peterborough University Technical College.

Our ‘corporate mission' is “to produce high quality sustainable developments using innovative technology and construction methods, delivered to exceed our customers' expectations”.

The group will shortly be announcing a series of events and activities to mark our 20 years in business.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A day at the races for Larkfleet

Larkfleet Homes Cottesmore point-to-point Garthorpe races
Our own Hannah Guy had a fantastic time at the Cottesmore point-to-point at the weekend and was very well looked after.

Hannah was there because Larkfleet Homes sponsored one of the races, which was won by Top Garry (starting price 8/1), ridden by Paige Fuller. She won by 10 lengths.

Point-to-point racing is a traditional rural event attracting people from the immediate locality and enthusiasts from further afield. ‘Maiden’ races are for horses that have not previously won at an event.

The Cottesmore race day is run entirely by volunteers and is financed by race entry fees, admissions to the race course and by sponsorship – so Larkfleet’s contribution helped to keep this thriving tradition alive.

The Cottesmore is the season opener at Garthorpe point-to-point. We sponsored the final race of the day – the open maiden race. There were lots of unraced horses in this 32-horse line up, ranging considerably in age, so to win by such a margin was a great achievement for horse and jockey.

Pictured receiving the trophy from Hannah (left) is Pauline Harkin, the trainer, and with her are the other members of the Garland, Harkin and Milner Partnership.

The Larkfleet team would just like to say thanks to Garthorpe for having us and well done to all who took part in the racing, which provided everyone with an exciting day’s entertainment.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Doddington Grange, the perfect family home in rural surroundings

Doddington Grange Doddington Cambridgeshire
If you’re looking for a new family home in the heart of Cambridgeshire, close to the cities of Peterborough and Cambridge but with Fenland rural charm, look no further than our development in the village of Doddington near March.

One of the largest parishes in England, Doddington boasts a range of amenities for the whole family. There is a post office, a few shops, a fish and chip/fast food outlet, ladies and gents’ hairdressers, a doctor’s surgery and an NHS minor injuries unit.

The village has a thriving public house, The Three Tuns, a recently refurbished pub that was established in the village in the 1840's and is steeped in history and character. The pub has a separate games room, beer garden and dining room. It offers a selection of beers, real ales and lagers. Food is served daily. It offers a welcoming family atmosphere along with the great food!

Doddington has a village hall as well as two sports fields, one with a pavilion containing changing rooms, catering facilities and a multipurpose room. Doddington has Guides, Scouts, Women’s Institute, the women’s section of the Royal British Legion, Short Mat Bowls Club, Outdoor Bowls Club, Cricket Club, Football teams, and an Under 5’s group – so there’s plenty on offer for to keep the whole family entertained – young and old.

For commuters, the nearby towns and cities of Ely, Peterborough, King's Lynn, Cambridge and Huntingdon are all within easy reach by major roads. Nearby March has its own rail station which connects with all the main routes.

Doddington is a true Fen island. Before the Fens were drained you would have needed a boat to visit friends in nearby villages. There is now a network of footpaths around the village that will allow you to explore the ancient Fenland landscape and its wildlife more closely. There’s also the RSPB nature reserve at Ouse Washes and the Welney Wildlife Centre nearby.

The Lionel Walden Primary School is a 'good' school according to its most recent Ofsted report. There are plenty of high quality secondary and further educational options in Chatteris, March, Ramsey, Whittlesey and further afield in Cambridge and Peterborough.

At Larkfleet Homes we have just launched phase two of a development of four and five-bedroom family homes called Doddington Grange on the edge of village. It is a quality new development perfectly suited to you if you are looking for a new home in a rural setting within easy reach of modern urban amenities.

Our show home is open from 10:00 to 17:00 seven days a week. Give us a call on 01354 694900 for more details.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Vote for Larkfleet!

First Time Buyer Readers Awards logo
Larkfleet Homes has been shortlisted for two First Time Buyer Magazine Readers’ Awards.
We are in the running to pick up the ‘best website’ and the ‘best family home’ awards. But we will only win if enough people vote for us!

Take a look at www.ftbawards.com/vote-now and – if you think we are worthy winners – give us your vote. And maybe you could encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Judges shortlisted our entry for ‘best family home’ based on the Windsor House at Hempsted Park in Peterborough.

The three-bedroom Windsor is ideal for a growing family. It is a semi-detached property type with a garage and a good-sized garden to the rear for play and outdoor entertaining.

The ground floor comprises separate dining and living room areas and kitchen. The available floor space has been designed to provide optimum convenience for all the family. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom while the dining room and lounge are separate spaces. Family members have space to socialise or find privacy when they need it.

Solar panels are fitted as standard, allowing residents to generate their own electricity.

First Time Buyer Awards vote

The Larkfleet Homes website (www.larkfleethomes.co.uk) was shortlisted because of the advice and information it offers to first-time buyers (and other people, too!).

The site includes mortgage and stamp duty calculators. Buyers can work out quickly what they can afford. Detailed information of finance options and how to find them is presented clearly and concisely.

Advice pages and information about schemes such as Help to Buy are tailored for first-time buyers.

Navigation is easy. Buttons and links are clear and easy to see. Information is presented in plain English to make all the options and services on offer clear. Jargon-busting pages offer clear definitions of finance and property terms. First-time buyers can make informed decisions about their choices.

Our developments feature many properties suitable for first-time buyers. Details of these properties and the help available to assist in their purchase is clearly signposted on the website for what we hope is a perfect user experience.

We would really like to win these awards because it is customers and potential customers – people like you – who select the winners! But we need your vote to win!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Lighten the mood with a good spring clean

National spring cleaning week
Although we’re still in the grip of winter, and there is another icy blast just around the corner, Spring isn’t too far away. It’s always good to be optimistic after all.

Maybe it is time to start thinking about Spring cleaning.

In just over a week’s time – 5-11 March to be exact – it’s National Spring Cleaning Week.

Get into the spirit by lightening up your home and yourself. Brighten up your home ready for the warmer days ahead.

Here are some things you can do for effective Spring cleaning.
  • Declutter – go through your stuff, decide what you really need and what you can live without and get rid.
  • Dust – break out the duster and the Mr Sheen and give your whole house a good dusting.
  • Deep clean carpets and upholstery – if you have a deep cleaner use that. If not, consider getting a professional cleaner to really cleanse your home.
  • Get rid of pet hairs.
  • Give the oven a clean with bicarbonate of soda.
  • Clean the fridge.
  • Use the dishwasher to clean the kids’ plastic toys.
  • Steam clean the microwave.
  • Go through your wardrobe – if you haven’t worn something for some time the chances are you won’t for a while. Pare your wardrobe down to the essentials and discard the rest.
  • Wipe over bathroom surfaces with white vinegar for a deep clean – soak tiles and shower heads in white vinegar overnight before rinsing to remove lime scale and other stubborn stains.
  • Make your home smell lovely with fresh fragrances and keep the place well-aired with cool wafts of air through open windows.
  • Outside the home, keep the garden leaf free, and why not go to town on the car as well – keep it as clean as your house and feel great every time you go for a drive.
  • Don’t forget to give the windows a clean and clear away any cobwebs that may be hiding in the corners of the window frames.
When you have decluttered why not make a bit of extra cash by putting anything saleable on eBay or consider going to a local car boot sale? Or if you’re feeling charitable take your old belongings to the local Age Concern.

You will feel better after a good Spring clean - trust us.






Larkfleet helps young adults buy their own homes

First time buyers young adults Larkfleet Homes
According to recent research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), today’s young adults are much less likely to own their own home than those in their place two decades ago.

At Larkfleet we have always been keen to help the younger generation get on the housing ladder. Take Liam and Zoe  and Chelsea and Martin.

We have been pleased to help both couples take the next steps in their home ownership journeys.

The IFS has found that the biggest decline in homeownership has been among young adults like our couples, with middle incomes. In 1995–96, 65 per cent of 25 to 34-year olds with incomes in the middle 20 per cent for their age owned their own home. By 2015–16 that figure had plummeted to just 27 per cent of that group owned their own home.

This group of young adults have after-tax incomes (including the income of a partner) of between £22,200 and £30,600 per year. A third of them are university graduates, and three-quarters of them live with a partner.

So why have home ownership rates changed so much for young adults over the past twenty years? The IFS found that this sharp decline in home ownership among young adults has been driven by the rapid rise in house prices relative to their incomes.

Over the past twenty years, average house prices have grown around seven times faster than the average incomes of young adults. The average UK house price was two and a half times higher in 2015–16 than in 1995–96 after adjusting for inflation, but the mean net family income of 25 to 34-year olds grew by only 22 per cent in real terms over those twenty years.

The IFS research also found that for nearly 90 per cent of 25 to 34-year olds, average house prices in their region are more than four times their annual after-tax family income; for nearly 40 per cent, house prices are more than 10 times their income. Twenty years ago, fewer than half of young adults faced house prices of more than four times their income, and less than 10 per cent faced house prices of more than 10 times their income.

Comparing a young adult today with a young adult twenty years ago whose income was similar relative to house prices, they are equally likely to own their home. The fall in homeownership is entirely explained by the fact that young adults’ incomes are now much lower relative to house prices on average.

The report’s author, Andrew Hood, a senior research economist at the IFS, said: “Home ownership among young adults has collapsed over the past twenty years, particularly for those on middle incomes – for that group, their chances of owning their own home have fallen from 2 in 3 in the mid-1990s to just 1 in 4 today. The reason for this is that house prices have risen around seven times faster in real terms than the incomes of young adults over the last two decades.”

Here at Larkfleet Homes and our sister company Allison Homes we hope to continue to be able to support first-time buyers obtain the home of their dreams.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Fancy netting up to £1,000 for just a few minutes of your time?

Larkfleet Homes survey First Time Buyer magazine survey
We have launched a survey to get the thoughts and experiences of house buyers. Complete our survey and we will enter you into our prize draw for a chance to win £500.

If you agree to take part in a brief follow-up chat on the phone you will be entered in a second draw to win a further £500.

Go to www.tiny.cc/larkfleet-survey to take part in the survey.

The Larkfleet Homes team is always working to develop new ways to provide the best possible products and services to our customers. We want to know what house buyers really think of the housing market and what they want from housebuilders like us.

To help us, we have teamed up with First Time Buyer Magazine, What House and What Mortgage to develop and deliver a comprehensive survey to find out what you, our customer, is really looking for in a new home.

The survey covers everything from the type of property people are looking to buy or have bought (whether it’s for their own use or an investment) through to topics such as location, size and energy efficiency.

It takes less than ten minutes to complete at www.tiny.cc/larkfleet-survey. The survey is being managed by independent marketing company OlsenMetrix Marketing and all the data collected will be anonymous.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Last minute things to do with the kids this half term

half term things to do Peterborough
Half term is drawing to a close for many people but there are still a few days left to enjoy with the kids. Here are a few last-minute ideas for things to do close to many of Larkfleet Homes' developments.

Nene Valley Railway – Thomas the Tank Engine is on the tracks over the weekend of 17 and 18 February.

Break your journey with a stop off at Ferry Meadows Country Park.  Tickets cost £16 per adult, £13 for seniors and £8 per child. For more information visit nvr.org.uk/events/february-thomas-half-term-specials.

Peterborough Museum – Secret Agents. During World War I, both sides tried to find out secret information about the enemy. From code-cracking to spies in enemy territory there were lots of 'tricks of the trade'. This half term, Peterborough Museum asks - do you have what it takes to be a secret agent? Find hidden clues, decode messages, and identify friend from foe before it's too late. Last date for the tour is Friday 16 February, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry 4:00 pm). Cost is £3 children, £4 adults, £12 families. Under 5s go free.

Flag FenArchaeology Adventurers Club For kids aged 8 – 12, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get involved in fun activities, make new friends and try something new. Your budding archaeologist will be able to get hands-on in the Big Dig Tent, handle artefacts, explore the Bronze Age landscape and wildlife, try new crafts and lots more! Email flag.fen@vivacity-peterborough.com for more details. Friday 16 February from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, cost £22 per child per day.

Sacrewell Farm – Learn how to be a blacksmith with classes where children as young as 7 can learn to forge a coat hook. The course runs on Saturday and Sunday 17 and 18 February. Visit the farm website for more details and how to book, or to find out what else in on offer.


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Chinese New Year – time to celebrate the Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year Larkfleet Homes Year of the Dog
We don't know about you but it seems that we’re becoming more multicultural when it comes to looking for an excuse for a good party.

Take Chinese New Year, which begins officially on Friday (16 February). According to the Chinese zodiac, this year is the Year of the Dog. The Spring Festival to usher in the new year lasts until 2 March.

Some cities with significant Chinese communities will be hosting special celebrations. In London this year a variety of cultural events will be held on Sunday 18 February. It’s the largest Chinese New Year celebration held outside Asia, so it’s definitely worth a visit.

If you prefer to stay at home, why not host your own Chinese New Year themed party? Here are some ideas of things that you can do to make your celebrations go with a bang.

  • Clean the house before the party – cleaning symbolises sweeping away accumulated bad luck.
  • Prepare boxes of candied fruit or chocolate coins to give to your guests.
  • Get lots of your favourite Chinese food in to share with guests and family. Cantonese chicken and fish is particularly good.
  • Dress up – the key colour is red. Wear a red jumper, scarf or shoes. This will bring you good luck in the coming year.
  • Buy something red for the house – paper cut window grilles, lanterns and dog toys are ideal decorations for the home and garden.
  • Serve oranges and tangerines – they represent wealth, good luck and happiness.
  • Give a gift of a small amount of money to parting guests – older generations often give gifts of money in red envelopes to the younger generation in Asian cultures.
  • Get some Chinese fire crackers to let off – but remember to follow the 'firework code', be considerate of neighbours and be safe.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Larkfleet helps launch Corby anti-litter campaign

Corby Clean and Proud
We are always glad to put something back into the communities where we have developments. With that in mind Larkfleet Homes is backing the Corby Clean and Proud campaign.

The initiative is being led by the Great Oakley Group and the de Capell Brooke family.

Our joint managing director Helen Hick was on hand to help launch the campaign.

Larkfleet has worked closely with the Great Oakley Group and Alexander de Capell Brooke on the delivery of Oakley Rise, part of the larger Oakley Vale development in Corby.

There’s little point in creating places like Oakley Rise, with a great sense of community in a very appealing area, unless you keep the place tidy – which is why we were happy to join the Corby Clean and Proud campaign.

Other founding partners include Mid-West Landscaping, Brooke Weston Trust and The David Laing Foundation.

The Corby Clean and Proud campaign is urging Corby businesses to pledge to keep the town’s streets clean and tidy.

Businesses are encouraged to take the CLEAN pledge in the lead up The Great British Spring Clean week at the end of February. CLEAN calls for local businesses to;
  • Commit to reducing the litter local to the Corby community
  • Learn more about the impact of litter in our communities
  • Engage with fellow businesses for a collective effort to keep the area clean
  • Act as an ambassador in promoting waste reduction
  • Notify the council if you spot any excessive littering

Corby Borough Council will be holding events to mark the week and businesses can take part in these or set up their own as part of their pledge.

Each business to sign up will receive a campaign certificate and window sticker and be featured on the campaign website.

You can find out more about Corby Clean and Proud and sign up your business at www.corbyclean.co.uk and visit www.facebook.com/CorbyClean

Our photo shows the campaign launch with Helen Hick.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Make your home a romantic haven for Valentine’s Day



Larkfleet Homes ideas for Valentine's Day
We love Valentine’s Day. It’s a perfect excuse to enjoy some quality time with your ‘better half’.

Valentine's day this year is on Wednesday - 14 February, of course. There's still time to plan if you've not got it all sorted already.

We have trawled the internet for tips on making your day a success.

While the origins of Valentine’s Day are shrouded in the mysteries of Roman and early Christian history, the traditions we follow today began in the 18th century and were refined by the Victorians.

Cards became popular in the early 19th century but when Sir Rowland Hill introduced the Penny Post in 1840, sales of Valentine’s cards rocketed. And later chocolate maker Cadbury’s introduced fancy gift boxes for chocolate.

Now, Valentine’s Day is more popular than ever. In 2016 in the UK we spent over £960 million on gifts, food and drink, cards and wrapping.

Although commercialised, the day can still provide a nice romantic interlude to the workaday grind.

Here a few ideas to help turn your home into a romantic haven.
  • Create an atmosphere – use scented candles and diffusers.
  • Lighting – heart shaped LED string lights
  • Cushions and throws - we’ve talked about Hygge before – but creating a cosy environment to settle down with a favourite rom-com will make your evening.
  • Rugs with a floral theme – try roses
  • Table decorations and tea lights
  • There are loads of ideas on Pinterest 
  • If you’re planning an intimate evening at home with your significant other, no doubt a nice meal will come into the equation. Here are some great ideas for Valentine’s Day table decorations 
  • If you need some inspiration for your menu have a look at Sainsbury’s
 If you don’t fancy staying at home why not go on a romantic day out. How about a walk on a windswept beach followed by lunch in a cosy pub or restaurant? Or visit a favourite historic location – English Heritage has a list of days out on its website.

The opportunities are endless.

Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have fun.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Things to do in the garden in February

gardening jobs February
Now that we are well and truly into February and Spring is just around the corner, it’s time to tackle some of those jobs in the garden that you have been putting off all Winter.

Some solid preparation now will mean you can make the most of the growing season to come.



Here a few tips for what you should be taking on now:
  • Prune Group 3 Clematis
  • Cut out old, dying or congested stems from Bamboo
  • Plant bare-root roses
  • Trim lawn edges
  • Cut back deciduous grasses
  • Prepare vegetable seedbeds and sow some veg under cover
  • Chit potatoes ready for planting
  • Improve drainage on heavy soils by working in lots of organic matter
  • Tidy up weedy beds
  • Stock on things like ties and stakes for the coming season
For more gardening tips and details of what to grow visit the Royal Horticultural Society website.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Pancake Day – a recipe for some Winter fun

Larkfleet Homes pancake day fun
We love pancakes here at Larkfleet Homes. That's why we're looking forward to Pancake Day next week.

Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is on 13 February this year. Traditionally, it is the last day of feasting before the fasting of Lent (what will you be giving up?) begins on Ash Wednesday.


It’s time to finish off all the rich foods in the house and put on some weight before Lent. That’s why the French call it Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday.

The name Shrove Tuesday stems from old English traditions where Christians would go to Confession to be absolved of their sins – or ‘shriven’. A bell – the Shriving Bell – would be rung – to call the people to Confession.

There are a lot of traditions surrounding the day. As well as making and eating delicious pancakes, communities up and down the UK will be holding Pancake Day races. It’s an opportunity for large numbers of people, often in fancy dress, to race down streets tossing pancakes. The object of the race is to get to the finishing line first, carrying a frying pan with a cooked pancake in it and flipping the pancake as you run.

The most famous and probably first pancake race takes place at Olney in Buckinghamshire where, according to tradition, in 1445 a woman of Olney heard the shriving bell while she was making pancakes and ran to the church in her apron, still clutching her frying pan.

Another, and much rougher tradition, is the playing of Shrovetide or mob football played up and down the highways, fields and footpaths between pubs or villages. The tradition began in the 12th century and is still played today in Cornwall, County Durham, Derbyshire, Northumberland and Warwickshire.

We eat pancakes because the basic ingredients of pancakes have religious significance. Eggs symbolise creation, flour is the staff of life, milk symbolises purity, while salt signifies wholesomeness.

How to make the perfect pancake:
BBC Food has a quick and easy recipe for pancakes.

Usually, pancakes are served with lemon and sugar. The fun starts when you add your favourite fillings.

According to a BBC Top 10 our favourite pancake filling is banana, chocolate and peanut butter. Another favourite is blueberries with maple syrup. There are all sorts of other things you can use to top you pancakes, from sweet to savoury.

Whatever you choose, have fun and enjoy your pancakes!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Larkfleet South West development scoops planning award

Larkfleet Homes South West Churchinford Hills
As an award-winning developer we’re always keen to add to the trophy cabinet. We had some great news last week. Our sister company Larkfleet Homes South West won Best New Housing Development in the Somerset Building Excellence Awards for its Churchinford Hills development.

Not only that. Its development at Creech St Michael was highly commended in the same category.

The Building Excellence Awards are run by the Somerset Building Control Partnership of which Sedgemoor District Council, the area in which Churchinford Hills is located, is a member.

Churchinford Hills will now go forward to the regional Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Awards to be held in Plymouth in April. It will come up against an array of other projects from across the whole of the South West of England.

The development won the award because the team at Larkfleet Homes South West was able to demonstrate building excellence by using traditional methods of construction, such as loose lay flint stone, hand laid thatch, natural slate and a variety of renders, combined with modern elements to ensure building regulation compliance.

The development is set deep within the Blackdown Hills, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. Areas of outstanding natural beauty enjoy significant conservation protection and planning is strictly controlled, so it was vital that the development was sympathetic to the village and the surrounding countryside.

Head of construction at Larkfleet Homes South West, Shaune Hicks, said: “We have given great consideration to modern living within this rural location by introducing large open interior space, modern bathrooms and kitchens with LPG heating, but with exteriors that retain village charm.”

Churchinford Hills is an exclusive 20-property development of 2,3 and 4-bedroom detached and semi-detached homes, incorporating affordable housing, situated in a unique rural position. The development is enclosed and screened by existing hedgerows and trees on both the northern and western boundaries. The site also has magnificent views across the Blackdown Hills, a rare location that the architects and developers were keen to make the most of.

We’ll keep you posted with news of how we get on at the regional awards in Plymouth in April.

Do you know how you’re going to repay your mortgage?



Larkfleet Homes interest-only mortgage
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is concerned that many of us who have interest-only mortgages may not be able to meet shortfalls in our mortgage repayment plans. In other words, we do not have the cash to pay off the original loan when the interest-only deal ends. We could face being left homeless as a result.


According to the FCA one in five of us has an interest-only mortgage.

It recently carried out a review into the fair treatment of existing interest-only mortgage customers. The review found that, although mortgage lenders are writing to customers prior to their mortgage maturing, borrowers are not contacting lenders to discuss repayment options.

If you have an interest-only mortgage that is maturing and you haven’t been in touch with your lender about repayments, now is the time. Maturity of this type of mortgage is peaking now among customers who are approaching retirement.

Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision at the FCA, said: “We are very concerned that a significant number of interest-only customers may not be able to repay the capital at the end of the mortgage and be at risk of losing their homes.

“We know that many customers remain reluctant to contact their lender to discuss their interest-only mortgage for a variety of reasons. We are very clear that people should talk to their lender as early as possible as this will give them more options when it comes to the next steps they can take.”

There are currently 1.67 million full interest-only and part capital repayment mortgage accounts outstanding in the UK. They represent nearly a quarter of all outstanding mortgage accounts. Over the next few years increasing numbers will require repayment.

The FCA has produced a handy leaflet which outlines your options. You can access it here.