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Often many house buyers consider the location to be of utmost importance when it comes to purchasing their next property. But a new home provides more than a place to make a base. It’s also about finding somewhere that gives you the lifestyle you want.

The community and social infrastructure that allows communities to grow and thrive - by Andrew Carrington

A combination of great schools, easy transport links, green open spaces, pubs, restaurants and shops creates the ultimate work-life balance. Without this important infrastructure people may struggle to travel to work, get their children into a good school and stay healthy, and generally have a balanced and enjoyable lifestyle.

Countryside was one of the first developers in the UK to create large-scale, mixed-use residential developments that include a wide range of amenities, infrastructure and all of the elements needed to make places that people really want to live now and in the future.

A good mixture of facilities can also revive a regeneration area, drawing people back into an area and generating revenue for the local community. From shops and restaurants to community centers and doctors’ surgeries, offering a number of facilities on the doorstep helps give a development more appeal and provides the existing community with new places to shop, eat and enjoy.

Take our Beaulieu development in Chelmsford, where an array of new facilities will help support the new and existing community at this exciting development of 3,600 new homes. We are already building a neighbourhood centre known as Beaulieu Square, which will include a Bright Horizons day nursery and a Sainsburys Local, as well as other shops, restaurant, community centre and health centre. There will also be extensive areas of green space for people to enjoy their leisure, along with two proposed new primary and a secondary school to deliver education, a business park to provide jobs and support the local economy, and even a new railway station to greatly improve transport facilities in years to come.

Providing this type of sustainable development is something we have worked on for many years. Our first ever new-build community also in Chelmsford, Chelmer Village, began in 1978. It now extends to an area of 300 acres with 2,000 homes, as well as shops including a superstore, retail park, two primary schools, a community hall, doctor’s surgery, pub, church and plenty of green open space. Not only did residents move in and put down their roots but the commercial element of the build created jobs and economic stability too.

The transformation at Great Kneighton in Cambridge has been a huge undertaking that includes amongst a wide range of new amenities, a secondary school for 750 students. The new school, to be known as Trumpington Community College, will include extensive new sports facilities to be shared by the whole community, as well as a Special Educational Needs (SEN) and autism centre to support students with additional needs. It will open in September.

St Mary’s Island, part of Chatham Maritime, has transformed an uninspiring brownfield site on the Medway River into a vibrant and eco-friendly 21st century community. A wide range of facilities and amenities, including a primary school, community centre and doctor’s surgery (pictured above), have been provided to enable residents to live a more sustainable lifestyle, reducing the overall impact on the environment and creating a strong community feel. Residents at the latest phase, Azure, will also have a host of facilities on their doorstep including bars, restaurants and a cinema.

We never forget our core principles of excellent design and place making. We are working to provide the building blocks which will allow communities to grow and thrive, which is why we also have on-going community development programmes at some of our largest developments to enable people to come together, often working closely with existing local communities and parish councils.

Why not see Countryside’s tests of whether a new community is really sustainable here.

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Andrew Carrington,
Managing Director - Strategic Land

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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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