Bath and Bristol
Look to the Future

Freshford Mill | 20 November 2015 |

new report from Knight Frank shows regeneration projects in Bath and Bristol will boost the economy and property prices in the cities and surrounding areas, making the South West even more popular than it already is. This is great news for Freshford Mill , our own regeneration project, and future home owners. New enterprise zones in Bristol and Bath will create around 26,000 jobs between them, attracting established businesses as well as small and medium businesses ...

… in the creative and digital sectors, bringing new energy and creativity into the cities. In terms of economic growth, it is suggested that Bristol and Bath will outperform the South West this year and in years to come.

Bath is already known worldwide as an international tourist destination full of museums, cafes, and attractions. But behind the Georgian facades, Bath is undertaking an exciting transformation.  The Bath City Riverside Enterprise Area – the ‘City of Ideas’ is a collection of development sites and buildings along the river corridor. The ‘City of Ideas’ will allow Bath to look to the future, and to become a city where businesses, academia and creativity combine to create value and enhance the quality of life.

The Knight Frank report is positive for the property market too; over the last decade, property prices in Bristol and Bath have outperformed the average. The improvement of rail links between London and the South West, with the electrification of the line, are important factors in drawing new homeowners to the area. Commuting from Bath to London daily will become far more common, as the trip is reduced to just over an hour – making it shorter than some tube journeys!

Another exciting new development project in the area is our own Freshford Mill, which is due to be transformed into a thriving residential community of 21 homes. Located on the River Frome in the Cotswold countryside 6 miles south-east of Bath and 15 miles south-east of Bristol, the village of Freshford is one of the most scenic around Bath and has its own train station, bus service and easy links to the M4 motorway. The development will involve the conversion of historic mill buildings, as well as newly built, stylish modern homes.

Like Bath and Bristol as a whole, Freshford is looking to the future, whist recognising and celebrating the value of its past.


London, New York,

Freshford Mill | 2 October 2015 |

There’s more to Somerset than you might think! Somerset is a beautiful county, with a perfect mixture of peaceful rural landscapes and bustling activity. Of course, Somerset has long been famous as the home of Glastonbury Festival which attracts celebrities and music fans from all over the world to a farm in the tiny village of Pilton every year. This year the tickets sold out in just 25 minutes signalling that the popularity of the festival isn’t suffering after 45 years.

But it’s not just Glastonbury festival that causes people to flock to Somerset in search of a culture fix. This summer the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Bruton celebrated its first birthday. Hauser & Wirth have renowned contemporary art galleries in New York, London and Zurich and so the opening of a gallery in an unknown town in Somerset came as a bit of a surprise. But over the last year it has attracted a range of celebrities and hosted a diverse schedule of events and exhibitions.

Another boost to the popularity and trendiness of Somerset came around 15 years ago with the opening of Babington House, the country off-shoot of London’s fashionable media hang-out, Soho House. Babington House is considered one of the ultimate UK spa destinations for those from the city looking to escape and unwind. The so called ‘Babington effect’ boosted popularity of homes in the Somerset villages and towns in the surrounding area.

The upcoming electrification of the Great Western Line is likely to make Somerset even more desirable. This huge railway modernisation project is bringing Somerset closer to London every day; by the time it is completed next year, London and Bath will be only an hour’s train ride apart. This is great news for those who want to live a more peaceful life, taking advantage of the beautiful rural landscapes of the West Country, but without giving up the benefits of being within easy reach of London.

Along with all of this new exciting news and stylish modern arrivals in Somerset, are of course the things that have made the county attractive for centuries. Quality of life is high in Somerset, with beautiful rural surroundings, a long list of outdoor activities to enjoy, low crime levels, low pollution, good schools and great transport links to the rest of the country. The countryside surrounding the picturesque towns and villages is teeming with wildlife ready to be explored by adventurous children.

With all the new and exciting news from Somerset, along with everything that has made it a great place to live for centuries, it is no wonder the beautiful county is more popular than ever.


Smart living for
the un-retiring

Stuart Court | 16 September 2015 |

Coming Soon. A new addition of 5 houses and 2 apartments to the existing exclusive development Stuart Court managed by Cognatum, a leading company in its field. Designed for the new generation of un-retiring 55+, it is set in the unspoilt Cotswold village of Minchinhampton, with Stuart Court less than 10 minutes walk to shops,a church, a library, doctor’s surgery, dentist, post office , chemist , restaurants, a golf course and other sporting facilities.

Environ is delighted to be associated with Cognatum, who offer a comprehensive management service organised by estate managers who are also available for advice and respond to emergencies. The ethos is to provide a service for those who want a more relaxed way of life without sacrificing standards, or wish perhaps to spend more time abroad and want a secure and maintained home whilst they are away. The services to residents operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Set amidst gracious parkland grounds the new development will be centred around a contemporary water garden. The very spacious and luxurious 2 bedroom, 2 ensuite Lifetime Homes, some with upstairs study, will be constructed to Environ’s exacting standards- oak flooring, underfloor heating, large sliding treble glazed doors and windows, Domus tiles, balconies, Duravit sanitary ware, Pyram kitchens and generous storage making them light and airy, and easy to run. Provision has been made  to install a small 2 man lift at a future date should this be required. Materials on the exterior are low maintenance  with fully landscaped courtyard gardens with built-in seating. Environ include many extras as standard.

The 2 bedroom apartments are exceptionally spacious, the first floor one accessed via a lift. The ground floor apartment has a fully landscaped courtyard garden too. Both have impressive views over the communal garden to the front.

Register your interest today in our light and airy homes- this is a rare opportunity not to be missed! There is much interest already in this unique development.

For pre-launch details of contemporary living at Stuart Court please ring Sarah on 01732 848316 or email


Freshford Mill

Freshford Mill | 31 July 2015 |

Freshford Mill, a site six miles south-east of Bath, set in beautiful Cotswolds countryside, is due to be transformed from a dilapidated site of abandoned buildings to a thriving development of 21 homes, where residents will be connected to the rural beauty that surrounds them. The site is surrounded by unspoilt woodland and pastures which are teeming with beautiful English wildlife. The development itself is designed to be a nature haven with several

wildlife-friendly features, such as native trees, hedge and wildflowers planted to provide a habitat for insects and birds.

The site lies in the quintessentially English village of Freshford, voted one of the most desirable villages in England, set in the southernmost part of the Cotswolds ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. However, despite its tranquillity, its proximity to nature and stunning rural views, the mill is just ten minutes’ walk from Freshford train station, and from here residents can be in the centre of Bath in just ten minutes.

One of Freshford Mill’s main features will be a lovely wildlife lake, planted with native plants to attract bats and merge with a wildflower meadow, which is particularly attractive to bees. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy the lake from walkways, boardwalks and a viewing platform. Birds such as Swallows and House Martins will swoop in to catch insects from the lake, and build nests nearby. Benches around the lake will allow residents to take in the views up to Limpley Stoke Valley and to the top of Freshford Village.

The riverbank is a great place for keen resident anglers to drop their lines in search of abundant stocks of barbel, chubb, pike, roach, dace or perch to name but a few! Because of Environ’s commitment to the local community, as well as the local environment, a special island nature reserve will be available to children from the local primary school to enjoy. Children will be able to see birds, various types of fish, and even the occasional otter swimming by!

An orchard is to be planted with local varieties of apple, pear and plum which will ultimately reach about ten feet in height, and there will be allotments on site so that residents can grow their own fruit and vegetables and further connect with the great outdoors. Another nature-friendly feature at Freshford Mill is a butterfly garden, located in what used to be a derelict folly, with seating built into the wall, providing the perfect place for residents to view the butterflies.

One of Environ’s guiding principles is New Urbanism, which promotes the design of living spaces that connect to the local, natural environment and the plans at Freshford are a great example of this. The connection between the development and the nature that surrounds the site will help to create a sense community and wellbeing for those who live there.


The Dartmouth
Regatta 2015

Sails | 31 July 2015 |

In a couple of weeks’ time the 171st annual Dartmouth Royal Regatta will arrive in this picturesque South Devon town, transforming the harbour and the town itself into an absolute paradise for boating enthusiasts. The Dartmouth Royal Regatta was formally established in 1834 and has since grown in size, playing host to rowing competitions, air displays, steamboat rallies, and fireworks. This year the Red Arrows will be participating in the air show and there’ll be around

300 different boats competing in almost 50 races. The guard ship this year is the imposing HMS Somerset, a 4,500 ton Type 23 Frigate built during the Cold War.

The Dartmouth Regatta has an interesting history. So the story goes, Queen Victoria observed preparations for the regatta while sheltering from a storm in the harbour. Impressed with what she saw, she granted the regatta its ‘royal’ status just before leaving. Since then the regatta has become one of the many things that make Dartmouth ‘the jewel in Devon’s crown’.

This year, there will be additional celebrations in Dartmouth during regatta week, as SAILS, Environ’s landmark development of luxury apartments on the quayside, will be nearing completion and opening its show apartment for interested buyers for the first time. The design of the apartments is inspired by an ocean-going clipper, so the building itself plays homage to the rich sailing history of the local area.

The launch of the homes will be good news for the boating enthusiasts who descend on the town every August; they now have a chance to buy a home right on the harbour, with views of the Naval College, and nearby moorings if they have their own boat.

Tony from Environ says, “At Dartmouth it is all about the activity in the harbour – clear views of all the yachts mooring, ferries going to and thro and cruise liners visiting. You can never get bored watching it. It is a sailors’ paradise with great history too.”

Sailing enthusiasts have the opportunity to rent a mooring directly opposite the apartments, where there are 3,500 berths up to 30 metres in length. There is further space for moorings at the Dart Marina located a few minutes’ walk away, where there are berths up to 20 metres in length. Properties at SAILS also come complete with a storage pod for storing boating gear in the secure garage; allowing active residents of SAILS to enjoy uncluttered homes.

The area surrounding the apartments is a true paradise for sailing enthusiasts; it is near to The Royal Dart Yacht Club, and Dartmouth Marina is nearby, at the end of Coronation Park which is next to the development. The stunning penthouse has views towards both the Naval College and the harbour, meaning owners at Sails can truly live and breathe sailing.


Dartmouth: A Delicious Destination

Sails | 24 June 2015 |

Devon has long been famous for high quality dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, and outstanding meat and fish, thanks to its mild climate and fertile soils. More recently, the picturesque coastal town of Dartmouth - often referred to as ‘The Jewel in Devon's Crown’- has made a name for itself as a hotspot for fantastic restaurants, farmers markets, and food festivals. Later this year, more than 20,000 people will descend on the town for the annual...

Dartmouth Food Festival, which has been voted one of the top ten food festivals in the UK by The Guardian. For this one weekend in October, peaceful medieval Dartmouth will transform into a bustling hub for foodies, among them some of the country’s most prominent chefs, food writers, and connoisseurs.

The Festival finds inspiration in the South West’s culinary history – which has strong links to fishing and farming – and focuses on the best of local recipes and produce.

Dartmouth Food Festival is one of the largest and most popular showcases for Devon’s impressive cuisine, but it’s not the only one. If you don’t want to wait until October, head to Dartmouth in August for the annual South Devon Crab Festival. Organised with the help of local chef Mitch Tonks – a strong advocate of South Devon food – this festival is a highly acclaimed local street party and a great opportunity to taste some of the best crab available in the UK.

Foodies should also consider visiting The Seahorse, run by Mitch Tonks and Matt Prowse. The restaurant has rapidly gained a reputation for top quality sea food, with specialities such as Dartmouth crab with white asparagus and olive oil and lemon and spaghetti with local seafood.

Recent research has shown that great food and renowned restaurants can make all the difference to the demand for local property, so much so that certain estate agents have begun listing nearby restaurants on property listings. Those who may be drawn to Dartmouth by the local cuisine will be pleased to hear that Environ’s SAILS apartments on the town’s quayside are to launch in August, so owners are in a prime position to take advantage of Dartmouth’s culinary scene.

Residents will be only a short walk from the wonderful Dartmouth Farmers’ Market, which takes place in the Old Market Square every second Saturday of the month. Here, local producers demonstrate the delicious and diverse selection of top quality food available in Devon throughout the year.

Whether you’re visiting Dartmouth for a holiday or as a prospective buyer, make sure you take the time to fully immerse yourself in the town’s culinary scene. The food and drink on offer here is really not to be missed.


Bath UK’s favourite city outside London

Freshford Mill | 20 May 2015 |

The UK’s Second Favourite City: Bath tops list of most desirable urban location for buyers outside London. 
Bath has been revealed as the most popular urban location outside of London. The city, just 6 miles from Environ’s new development in Freshford village, is popular with buyers due to its elegant architecture, sophistication and ease of access to the beautiful surrounding countryside.

According to the team behind the research at Stacks Property Search, buyers are looking for city locations that can offer all the benefits of London living such as culture, sophistication, great shopping and good schools, and at the same time retain individual character and a cosy feel.

Recent figures from Zoopla show how Bath is fast becoming the go-to option for those seeking to move from London. The new research shows that 30% of homes in Bath are now sold to Londoners, and that many locals have even began referring to the city as ‘West, West London’.

And it’s not hard to see why Bath would be popular with Londoners; it’s easily commutable, being just 90 minutes on the train from central London, within easy reach of the M4 and offers beautiful period properties and urban living with stunning rural landscapes on the doorstep.

On top of all this, Bath is a UNESCO world heritage site, rich with history dating back to Roman times. According to UNESCO: “Bath’s grandiose neoclassical Palladian crescents, terraces and squares, spread out over the surrounding hills and set in its green valley, are a demonstration par excellence of the integration of architecture, urban design and landscape setting,” was the verdict when Bath was designated a world heritage site in 1987.

For those attracted to the idea of a home near Bath, the news of Freshford Mills’s upcoming conversion will be welcome news. Freshford is located just 6 miles South East of Bath, in a beautiful rural location in the southernmost part of the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty. The fact that a country village such as Freshford is located just a 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Bath, a bustling urban location, demonstrates how people living in the area can strike the perfect balance between urban and rural living.

Environ Communities are converting the historic Freshford Mill into a new residential scheme with extensive landscaping. The site will consist of 21 homes ranging from two to five bedrooms, whilst the existing historic Mill, will be renovated into luxury contemporary apartments with beautiful views overlooking the River Frome.


Could Environ’s SAILS be the UK’s ideal home?

Sails | 20 May 2015 |

New Survey Reveals the Nation's Dream Home is less than 10 years old and in South West England. Can you picture your dream home? Everyone has their own idea of what their perfect house would look like, but it seems British buyers are at least in agreement on a few characteristics. According to research by AA Home memberships, the UK’s dream home would be a property by the sea in South West England that was built in the last 10 years.

The South West of England proved extremely popular in the survey, with more than a quarter of those asked saying they’d choose to live in the region. Furthermore, some 35% of those living in the West Midlands would like to live in the South West.

It seems the nation is falling out of favour with older character properties and looking towards more modern homes. Buyers are waking up to the fact that newer properties have lower running costs and require less maintenance, which can be an important factor for home buyers.

For those looking for a property that ticks all these boxes, Environ’s SAILS could be a good place to start. The striking development is located in the nation’s favourite region, the South West, and is situated on the waterfront at Dartmouth harbour, offering unbeatable river views. Not only this, but SAILS is a brand new development in an area of historic homes, and as such offers all the benefits of a modern development.

Louisa Hooper, head of new homes at Jackson Stops has spoken about the UK’s recent shift in attitude towards newly built homes: ‘We have seen more of an interest in new homes this year as opposed to older, characterful properties. Buyers are waking up to the fact that newer properties have lower running costs and require less maintenance. This is a very recent shift in attitudes’.

Dartmouth itself embodies everything that has made the South West of England so attractive to buyers. The town is often referred to as ‘The Jewel in Devon’s crown’, because of its picturesque Elizabethan streetscapes with narrow lanes and stone stairways and cobbled marketplace. It is also the perfect location for those looking for all the benefits of waterfront living, with its beautiful harbour views. Dartmouth is home to The Royal Dart Yacht Club, and Dartmouth Marina is nearby, at the end of Coronation Park which is next to the development. The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta also takes place nearby in August, with a focus on sailing and with plenty of impressive boats on display, including a Royal Navy Guard Ship.

So, the striking new apartments at SAILS seem to encompass everything that the average Brit considers their ‘dream home’: the perfect waterfront location in the nation’s favourite region, and with all the benefits that come with living in a brand new home. The apartments at SAILS will be finished at the end of June, ready for owners to settle in just in time for a prime waterfront view at this year’s Dartmouth Regatta!


Fresh Start for Freshford Mill Site in Somerset

Freshford Mill | 11 March 2015 |

Environ is excited to announce that it is developing the site of Freshford Mill in the village of Freshford, six miles south east of Bath. Environ is converting the current site of derelict homes and historic buildings into a new residential scheme with extensive landscaping. The site will consist of 21 homes ranging from two to five bedrooms, whilst the existing historic Mill, will be renovated into luxury contemporary apartments with beautiful views overlooking the River Frome.

Throughout the scheme much glazing will be used to make the homes light and to utilise the stunning setting of the river. Properties will also feature local bath stone walls and attractive landscaped gardens.

In 2005 it was discovered that Freshford Mill could date back as far as the Roman times, when a Roman key was dug up on site.

The mill has seen a number of owners over the centuries, but over the last five years the site has unfortunately been left derelict, a great cause of concern for local residents. Squatters have previously occupied some of the buildings, there has been extensive vandalism and the entire site was used for a rave with about 300 people attending.

Freshford is a very picturesque and family oriented village near Bath with a great community atmosphere.  The village features a good school, a number of cafes and shops. Environ’s new plans for Freshford Mill will greatly improve security as well as making a vast improvement to the look of the area.

Throughout the course of the development, Environ will work closely with local residents to ensure that they are onboard with the plans. An open evening has already been held by Environ for local residents to discuss and inspect the proposed scheme. The evening had a great turnout of over 130 people and had a great positive response.

The Council is delighted that the Mill has been purchased By Environ. Nick Stevens, Chairman, Freshford Parish Council says: “We look forward to working alongside Environ and wholly support the wish of the Company to work in close collaboration with local residents. In this way we are all able to contribute to the process and it should go a long way towards ensuring that the finished development quickly becomes an integral part of the village and one of which we can all be proud.”

Environs’ plans for landscaping at Freshford Mill include flood defences incorporating a riverside walk and a raised board walk across the island; a stunning butterfly garden and an orchard garden with local varieties of apple, pear and plum. All landscaping will be designed in order to encourage wildlife back into the area.

A number of seating areas will be added around the site for residents to admire the scenery and wildlife from. With sightings of otters and kingfishers having previously been a regular occurrence, the development is set to become a hotspot for spotting wildlife from.

Environ plan to start work on Freshford Mill this coming May and the project is set to be completed by July 2015.


High Performance Homes
that appeal to our DNA

Keepers Court | 27 February 2015 |

Environ Communities is pleased to announce the completion of its new development ‘Keepers Court’ at Kings Hill in Kent. The new properties have followed the principles of ‘biophilia’, which refers to humans’ innate preference for nature with our DNA programmed to seek out spaces that allow us to connect with the natural world. Biophilic Design incorporates fresh air, daylight and natural materials, with a view to creating a more pleasurable environment in which to live.

The benefits of biophilia are vast and over 50 studies have been published that associate biophilic elements as primary influences for faster recovery rates for patients, decreased dependency on medication, reduced stress, and improved emotional wellness.

The five bedroom properties at Keepers Court are immensely light with significant expanses of glass used throughout. The large picture window in the upstairs landing and sky lights in the roof allow light to flood down on to the landing and stairs. The Landings are double height and some master bedrooms have cathedral ceilings, to continue the light and airy feel.

Natural materials are used throughout the properties, including oak wood flooring and granite Pyram kitchen worktops. The ground floors have a seamless continuation of the indoor space outdoors. This has been achieved by floor to ceiling sliding doors off the living areas leading to the garden, with same level flooring inside as out.

A heat recovery ventilation system is used in every property, which provides a constant supply of fresh air that is warmed via the heat exchanger, whilst removing stale, humid and odorous air, making the homes exceptionally pleasant places in which to live.

The gardens and landscaping throughout the scheme is an eye catching feature of Keepers Court. Award- winning landscape designer Julie Johnson has created easy maintenance ‘fitted’ rear gardens that flow from the house, so they become an extra room in the warmer months. They are attractively landscaped, using plants suitable for the region and climate and include a raised vegetable bed for those owners wanting to grow their own produce.

Five bedroom homes start from £659,000.

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