freshford-nature

Freshford Mill
Wildlife

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.

dartmouth-regatta

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-delicious

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.

freshford-05-2015

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.

sails-05-2015

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!

Freshford-Mill

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

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.

Kings-Hill-Families

Kings Hill – A Popular
Choice With Families

Keepers Court, The Manor | 27 February 2015 |

According to Knight Frank in Sevenoaks there has been an increase in young families this year moving out of London into Kent, from south and south east London especially. Families are selling up in search of larger living spaces, better local schools and the pleasure of having the countryside on their doorstep. As London house prices have risen over the last 18 months it is proving to be a good time to look at what you can get for your money further out of London.

Ross Davies of Knight Frank comments: “We are selling a lot of property in Kent within commuting distance of London and Kings Hill, near West Malling is a consistently popular choice as it is less than an hour’s commute with a direct line into London Victoria. London property prices have risen far more than season tickets, and so it is still more economical for families.”

Kings Hill, near West Malling in Kent is a very child friendly and safe environment to live with a great community atmosphere.The area offers a vast number of cycle paths away from the roads for children to safely get around. These landscaped “greenway” paths provide easy access between the housing and the central amenities and are in addition to the pavements that are designed for combined pedestrian and cycle use.

The area offers incredible sports facilities – tennis courts, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools and an extensive gymnasium, plus squash and badminton facilities; an 18-hole PGA championship golf course and a cricket green. This year, further sports facilities opened with five grass football pitches, an artificial grass pitch and new sports pavilion and the Heath Farm Country Park is also close by.

Kings Hill boasts two high performance primary schools with ‘outstanding’ OFSTED ratings. Around West Malling there is an exceptional choice of excellent grammar and specialist secondary schools plus some of the best independent schools in Kent are within easy reach. Grammar Schools include the renowned Maidstone Grammar School, The Tonbridge Grammar Schools, Skinners and The Judd School. Independent schools include, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge School and Sutton Valance School. The University of Greenwich is also situated at Kings Hill.

Mike Broderick and his family relocated from south east London to a four bedroom Environ Communities’ home at Kings Hill, Mike says: “We moved for lifestyle reasons & to have a better choice of schools for our son. He now goes to a good prep school in Tonbridge. There are a lot of amenities for families in the area and although you have neighbours in close proximity you are very quickly out into country side. You have the Country Park on the doorstep, Manor Park in West Malling, and further afield there is Bedgebury – which is great for off road cycling, and for shopping Bluewater is just 25 minutes away.”

Environ has a number of family sized homes for sale at Keepers Court, an exclusive collection of eight detached luxury homes on Kings Hill.

The fivebedroom homes start from £659,000

dart-music-festival

Dart Music Festival
15 – 17 May 2015

Sails | 27 February 2015 |

In May each year, the annual Dart Music Festival takes over the town of Dartmouth and for three days the streets comes alive with the sound of music. The festival is being held on the 15 – 17 May 2015. The festival features over 100 performances covering almost every musical genre from rap, folk and rock to orchestral, jazz and opera. Solo artists and bands perform in venues all over town, including pubs, churches and the main stage of the bandstand in Royal Avenue Gardens.

As a small town situated on the banks and mouth of the beautiful River Dart it is a perfect location to stage a festival that celebrates live performances from all styles of music. The majority of the events during the festival are free and is very much a community event organised by a small team of volunteers, funded by local businesses, involving local schools, choirs, musicians, sponsors, local government and festival-goers.

If you decide to make a visit to Dartmouth over the Dart Music Festival, be sure to visit our new development, SAILS, a collection of two and three bedroom apartments overlooking the Quay in Dartmouth, Devon.

Dart Music Festival will be open Fri 15 – Sun 17 May 2015 | 10am – 10pm.

For more information: dartmusicfestival.co.uk

sails-award-2014

SAILS WINS BEST APARTMENT SCHEME AWARD

Sails | 29 October 2014 |

Environ Communities, the niche property developer that specialises in sustainable development, has won a five star award for Best Apartment at this year’s highly respected UK Property Awards for its ‘SAILS’ apartment scheme in Dartmouth.  The ceremony took place at the London Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday 24thOctober where the award was given to Environ’s Chairman Tony Dowse by Lord Courtown, chairman of the architecture and interior design panel of judges.

Sponsored by Gaggenau and Rolls Royce, the Awards attracted entries from hundreds of companies across the length and breadth of the UK.

SAILS, which consists of six contemporary apartments is situated in a prime location overlooking the Quay and estuary in Dartmouth, Devon. The striking contemporary design has been inspired by an ocean-going clipper and adds a dramatic new landmark building in a central location to the otherwise medieval and Elizabethan architecture of Dartmouth.

The two and three bedroom apartments offer sizeable, light and airy homes with stunning views of the harbour, Coronation Park and Royal Naval College. The penthouse is one- of- a- kind for Dartmouth having an added wow factor with all its living areas having panoramic views and its master bedroom looking out on to its own Japanese roof garden. The 2 bed apartments start from £640,000, the 3 bed apartments from £820,000 and the penthouse is £1,350,000.

Tony Dowse said in receiving the award: “We wanted to do something special with the site as the location is incredible. SAILS is unique in the area with its striking design and contemporary minimalist interiors that maximise the views.”

Stuart Shield, President of the International Property Awards, said, “It’s amazing to see the innovation that continues to deliver ever more surprising solutions that not only look good but also introduce beautiful new homes with a very low energy requirement. The awards are also able to highlight the latest techniques in the marketing and presentation of Britain’s finest homes.”

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