*We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.

skip to main content

BLOG

Corporate blog

MY COUNTRYSIDE GRADUATE SCHEME - BY MATTHEW AIHIE

10/11/2017

I am a new member of the Countryside team, just a few weeks in to my two-year graduate programme, but it’s been a great start so far. I applied for the graduate programme when I was still at university, and because of the obvious merits and credentials of Countryside’s scheme, I put together a really strong application for it.

Read more

Corporate blog

IS OUR GRADUATE PROGRAMME FOR YOU? - BY VICTORIA KIDD

01/11/2017

Our Graduate Scheme first began in 1980, with our very own CEO of Partnership South, Graham Cherry, being the very first graduate to enter the programme!

Read more

New Homes blog

MUCH MORE THAN A HOMEBUILDER - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

20/10/2017

At Countryside, we do more than build homes. Whilst we pride ourselves on our credentials as a leading homebuilder, we are also proud to be a ‘placemaker’.

Read more

EARLY BIRDS IN STOCKPORT SNAP UP NEW BRINNINGTON HOMES

18/10/2017

Savvy Stockport home buyers have already snapped up 30% of the new three-bedroom homes at Countryside’s upcoming Blackberry Vale development in Brinnington, Stockport. Prices start from £159,950.

Read more

New Homes blog

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A COUNTRYSIDE GRADUATE - BY LIAM D’UNIENVILLE

13/10/2017

We are proud to offer an annual Graduate Scheme which commences every September and continues over a two-year period.

Read more

COUNTRYSIDE BUILDS FRIENDSHIPS AT HEYFIELDS

11/10/2017

One in five houses in Britain are semi-detached*, meaning that 20% of UK house owners share walls, a garden, or even a driveway with their neighbour.

Read more

New Homes blog

CUT THE COMMUTE FROM YOUR COUNTRYSIDE HOME - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

09/10/2017

The daily commute to work can have a huge impact on quality of life, with new research revealing that the average Brit loses 16 days a year commuting to and from work, leaving two-thirds of workers willing to relocate to make their commute shorter.

Read more

New Homes blog

RIGHTSIZING NOT DOWNSIZING - BY LISA HILL

29/09/2017

The prospect of downsizing is becoming an increasingly popular choice, with research from Prudential showing that nearly half of over 55s plan to downsize to a smaller property in later life. However, downsizing is not just about moving into a smaller property, it’s about rightsizing to a home which suits your needs.

Read more

New Homes blog

17 YEARS LATER AND WE STILL LOVE ST MARY’S ISLAND - BY GRAEME AND AYSHEN ROUSE

19/09/2017

In 1999, we moved into our first home on St Mary’s Island. Having fallen in love with the landscape and realising its full potential, we knew that we had found a permanent home and location at St Mary’s Island.

Read more

New Homes blog

FOUR FABULOUS WAYS TO DECORATE YOUR CHILDREN'S BEDROOM - BY JACKIE LEE

14/09/2017

Designing a child’s bedroom gives the opportunity to inject some fun and creativity into the home, and with a few steps can provide a playful space for your child to spend time relaxing. At Countryside, we have taken the time to decorate our show homes to showcase the endless options that interior design can offer, and to give some inspiration to those who are looking to inject some character into their home.

Read more

New Homes blog

BEAULIEU KEEPS COMMUTERS CONNECTED - BY MATTHEW AND KEELEY WILLIAMS

07/09/2017

The undeniable rise in living costs has led to young professionals searching outside of London for their dream home. With excellent commuter links, Chelmsford is one of the top 25 commuter towns based on train times, cost, life satisfaction and house prices.

Read more

New Homes blog

OPTIONS AND TIPS FOR JOINT BUYERS – BY INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVISOR, ANDREW LOCK AT LARKBRIDGE MORTGAGES

01/09/2017

For many, getting on to the property ladder can seem like an impossible goal. This was confirmed by recent research by Aldermore Bank, which found that 65% of prospective first-time buyers believe owning their own home is currently unachievable. At the same time, a report by CBRE revealed that 61% of millennials expect to own their own home at some point in their lives. For many, the far-off dream could become a reality a lot sooner than they think, if the following options are considered.

Read more

COUPLE BUY INTO STRESS FREE LIVING AT KINGS PARK

22/08/2017

Recent research conducted by Vitality Health has revealed that long commutes appear to have a significant impact on mental wellbeing, increasing the risk of stress. Looking to reduce the stress of their daily commute, Faye White (34) and fiancé Rick Fullman (32) have recently purchased a two bedroom apartment at Countryside’s popular Kings Park development in Essex, situated adjacent to Harold Wood Station and on Crossrail’s eastern section.

Read more

New Homes blog

TOP TIPS TO FILL AN OPEN SPACE - BY ROB BURTON

17/08/2017

Open-plan living spaces are still incredibly popular, catering to a more relaxed and communal way of living. From kitchen/dining rooms, dining room/living rooms, to an open-plan ground floor, the traditional barriers of walls and doors are being broken down to create a more inclusive and inviting environment.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW THE NIGHT TUBE HAS REVOLUTIONISED LONDON TRAVEL - BY RAYNE PERRY

07/08/2017

In 2016, the Night Tube service launched across London, revolutionising travel for Londoners and tourists alike, on some of the most popular routes.

Read more

Corporate blog

NEW COMMUNITY CENTRE FOR KINGSMERE, BICESTER - BY LIZ BALL

03/08/2017

At Countryside, we may be known for building homes, but we are also dedicated to building communities, and enhancing the developments we create by providing community facilities for the benefit of local residents.

Read more

New Homes blog

COST EFFECTIVE ACTIVITIES TO DO THIS SUMMER - BY MUSTAPHA MEDAJAOUD

31/07/2017

We all know how important it is to make the most of summer here in the UK. Whether it’s getting out in the evenings and at weekends to make the most of your free time, or finding ways to entertain the kids during their six-week holiday, enjoying summer shouldn’t break the bank. Why not take a look at the low-cost suggestions below, to help you make the most of the summer!

Read more

New Homes blog

NATIONAL PARKS WEEK 24 – 30TH JULY 2017 - BY LIZ BALL

24/07/2017

Summer is all about going outside in the fresh air and enjoying the parks available in your local area. Local parks offer a great range of activities, from relaxing with a book to organised runs and community fun days for you and your family to enjoy together. A large number of our developments provide stunning parklands and open spaces to be enjoyed this summer.

Read more

New Homes blog

THE HEART OF THE GMV COMMUNITY AT THE 2017 SUMMER FAYRE - BY TRACEY MAYNE

21/07/2017

On Saturday 15th July, the GMV Residents Association held their 2017 Summer Fayre at Southern Park.

Read more

New Homes blog

FIND OUT WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A COUNTRYSIDE TRAINEE - BY VICKY MCLEAN

12/07/2017

Vicky McLean, a Trainee Assistant Site Manager, gives an insight into working for Countryside.

Read more

New Homes blog

SISTERS KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY WITH BANK OF MUM AND DAD AT ST PAUL'S SQUARE - BY LUCY AND SOPHIE MASON

29/06/2017

Last year, 20 home buyers relied on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ as a means to fund all, or part of, their journey to get onto the property ladder. It’s becoming increasingly common for financial help to come from a family member, be it parents or grandparents. Which is why we’ve come up with a ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ scheme, in appreciation of this huge act of generosity. Countryside will gift £2,000 back to the parent or family member who provided the deposit, as a thank you.

Read more

New Homes blog

COUNTRYSIDE'S ANNUAL TOUR DE SITES CYCLE CHALLENGE RAISES FUNDS FOR THE ALZHEIMER'S SOCIETY - BY LAURA MURRAY

28/06/2017

In celebration of the Tour de France race, 105 members of our team donned their cycling gear and took to the roads to cycle 50 miles. Touring our new and existing developments across Essex the ‘Countryside Tour De Sites’ was one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, and it didn’t disappoint, raising just over £7,000 for The Alzheimer’s Society.

Read more

New Homes blog

5 CROWD PLEASING AND TASTY PICNIC RECIPES - BY LISA HILL

22/06/2017

Nobody does a picnic like the British. From teddy bears picnics to Pimm’s in the park, there’s a reason picnicking is so popular. It’s a cost-effective way to get the kids out of the house over the summer, and it’s a great way to meet up with friends and family.

Read more

New Homes blog

PERSONALISED GIFTS FOR THE HOME TO MAKE FOR YOUR DAD THIS FATHER'S DAY - BY JACKIE LEE

13/06/2017

Finding the perfect gift for Father’s Day is always a struggle – especially when they ‘don’t want anything’! This year, why not do something a little different and create a personalised present he’ll be delighted to receive. Choose one of our three homemade gifts to make your dad happy this Sunday!

Read more

New Homes blog

FIVE EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT - BY ELEANOR FENTON

07/06/2017

As we all know, there are many ways to help reduce our carbon footprint and the impact we each have on the environment. At Countryside, we create homes and communities which offer lots of ways that people can help reduce their carbon footprint. After all, saving the planet is a big job, but every little helps. Below are some simple steps to help you make the world a greener place.

Read more

New Homes blog

SIX TOP TIPS FOR THE PERFECT SUMMER SOIREE - BY TRACEY MAYNE

31/05/2017

The moment we have all been waiting for is finally here…summer time! For those that have been fantasising about BBQ’s since January we have put together some top tips for the perfect garden get together.

Read more

New Homes blog

A MOVER'S CHECKLIST - BY SOPHIE FITZGERALD

19/05/2017

Worried about moving or just don’t know where to start? Don’t panic we’re here to help! Covering everything from preparing the move to unpacking and decorating, here are our top tips for moving home.

Read more

New Homes blog

NEW TO OFF-PLAN BUYING? HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

19/05/2017

Buying off-plan means that purchasers buy their home before the build has been completed. All of the homes at Countryside are available to purchase off-plan. When we launch a new development, the marketing suite and show home will be ready for potential purchasers to visit and take a look around.

Read more

New Homes blog

HAPPY FAMILIES AT HORSTED PARK - BY ESTEBAN AND MATHILDE CORDERO

18/05/2017

To celebrate new homes week, Esteban and Mathilde Cordero have shared their experience of buying a brand new home at our Horsted Park development in Chatham, Kent. They used Help to Buy to purchase their forever home, as rising rent and their growing family meant that their old apartment was no longer practical for them.

Read more

New Homes blog

STRATEGIC SCHEMES THAT OFFER MORE THAN JUST HOMES - BY LIZ BALL

18/05/2017

If you’re searching for your perfect home, New Homes Week is a brilliant way to find out why buying a new build home could be the right decision for you. With the latest in energy-saving measures, efficient central heating and top quality build techniques, there are many positives to choosing a new build home. But what else can a new home offer?

Read more

New Homes blog

WORKING WEDNESDAY : WHO'S BEHIND NEW HOMES - BY PAUL ADAMS

17/05/2017

We sat down with Paul Adams, Project Manager at King’s Park to find out more about his day to day roles and responsibilities and what goes into creating a development of new build homes.

Read more

New Homes blog

THE ADVANTAGES OF BUYING A NEW BUILD HOME - BY AMY BAINES

15/05/2017

It’s New Homes Week! Offering a fantastic opportunity to explore the numerous reasons why you should buy a new build home, New Homes Week is organised by the Home Builders Federation, and below we have put together some of the main benefits of buying a new home with Countryside.

Read more

New Homes blog

CUPID STRIKES AT BROOK VALLEY GARDENS - BY SAMANTHA KOZLOWSKI

12/05/2017

After wanting to move out of the city to raise their daughter, Samantha and Benji instantly fell in love with Brook Valley Gardens in Chipping Barnet. Their new home ticked all of the boxes and with a baby on the way, they were keen to get settled in right away!

Read more

New Homes blog

DECLUTTER YOUR HOME: 6 TIPS FOR A STRESS FREE SPRING CLEAN - BY JACKIE LEE

05/05/2017

Despite attempts to keep a clean and tidy household, our busy lives can sometimes get the better of us. It’s not always easy to maintain a decluttered home, especially if there’s more than one person occupying it!

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW WE FOUND OUR FOREVER HOME - BY MR AND MRS SAUNDERS

21/04/2017

Having lived in rental accommodation for eight years on St Mary’s Island in Kent, residents Mikaela and Martin Saunders were keen to buy their own home to make their residency permanent.

Read more

New Homes blog

FIVE TIPS TO ENSURE YOUR PET IS HAPPY IN ITS NEW HOME - BY AMY BAINES

14/04/2017

Moving home can be a stressful time for all involved, but it is important to consider your beloved pet when going through this change.

Read more

New Homes blog

5 SPACE SAVING TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE - BY ZOE PAPWORTH

07/04/2017

National Gardening Week takes place from 10th – 16th April and is designed to encourage gardeners of all abilities to grow more plants and spend more time in their garden.

Read more

ON THE BUSES IN BEAULIEU

03/04/2017

Residents at Beaulieu, the development by Countryside and L&Q in Chelmsford, will now benefit from a new bus service which commenced on 2nd April to make travelling to and from Chelmsford a great deal easier.

Read more

New Homes blog

WHY RENT WHEN YOU CAN GET A MORTGAGE AT GMV - BY SAM OTTERBURN

31/03/2017

Sam Otterburn, one of our new residents at Greenwich Millennium Village has been kind enough to share his experience of the London Help to Buy scheme when purchasing his new one bedroom apartment at this exciting development.

Read more

New Homes blog

WHY BUY NEW? - BY EMMA FEARN

24/03/2017

House buyers looking to buy a new home are drawn by the fantastic opportunity to have a ‘blank canvas’ to personalise themselves, according to a report by the National House Building Council Foundation (NHBC).

Read more

Corporate blog

HOW TO EMBRACE THE DANISH CONCEPT HYGGE IN YOUR HOME - BY HEATHER HOLL

17/03/2017

The 20th March marks the International Day of Happiness where thousands of people globally will take action to create a happier world together. The Danes are leading the way and have remained consistently at the top of the polls as the happiest people on earth, despite living in very little daylight during their six-month winter. It is argued that their happiness is a direct result of hygge.

Read more

New Homes blog

MEET THE WOMEN WORKING HARD IN HOUSE BUILDING - BY REBECCA WORTHINGTON

08/03/2017

In celebration of International Women’s Day today, Group Chief Financial Officer and Head of the Women in Business Group for Countryside employees, Rebecca Worthington highlights the important roles that women play in what is typically considered a male-dominated sector.

Read more

New Homes blog

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A TRAINEE SITE MANAGER APPRENTICE - BY SUPANJA DAVIES

02/03/2017

With National Apprenticeship Week well underway, where the industry recognises the dedication and commitment of our apprentices, Trainee Site Manager at Acton Gardens and Ealing Apprentice of the Year 2016, Supanja Davies explains her apprenticeship experience with Countryside so far.

Read more

New Homes blog

6 TOP HOUSE BUYING SCHEMES FOR A SMOOTH MOVE - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

27/02/2017

Moving home can sometimes prove challenging for existing homeowners. As property chains form, the chances of a broken link unfortunately increase, which can cause uncertainty. At Countryside, we offer multiple schemes that are available on selected properties to ensure that our buyers’ move is as smooth as possible. After all, moving house is an exciting moment and stressful emotions shouldn’t overpower the positive ones!

Read more

New Homes blog

7 FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A NEW HOME - BY HEATHER HOLL

16/02/2017

As the biggest purchase that most people ever make, buying a new home is both extremely exciting and ever so slightly daunting. With many factors having a significant impact on the market value of the property both at the time of purchase and in years to come, below is a list of key things to consider to help ensure the home you buy is a safe investment.

Read more

New Homes blog

TOP TIPS FOR ENCOURAGING BIRDS INTO YOUR GARDEN - BY LIZ BALL

02/02/2017

Feed the Birds Day is on 3rd February, and what better way to participate than to encourage wildlife into your garden. This special day was created to help wild birds survive the winter, and inviting them into your backyard will create a garden that is beneficial to both the birds and your family.

Read more

SPORT FLOURISHES IN CHELMSFORD SCHOOLS THANKS TO PARTNERSHIP

31/01/2017

In helping and encouraging youngsters to increase and improve their participation in exercise and sport at all levels, the Chelmsford School Sports Partnership (CSSP) has gone from strength-to-strength since launching in 2003 and is one of the most successful in the country.

Read more

New Homes blog

FITNESS WORKOUTS & EXERCISE ROUTINES YOU CAN DO AT HOME - BY AMANDA NESBITT

27/01/2017

You don’t need an expensive gym membership or a personal trainer to get fit in 2017. Working out at home is more common now there is access to thousands of workout videos at the touch of our fingertips. This is brilliant for those who don’t have time to make the journey to the gym, have little ones to look after or simply don’t want the added pressure of exercising in front of others.

Read more

New Homes blog

TOP TIPS FOR A TIMELESS INTERIOR - BY AMY BAINES

20/01/2017

A timeless décor is one that will withstand years of changing styles and will transcend through those changes. By starting with a neutral palette, you can easily adjust accents throughout your home to match the season or to incorporate your favourite new colour whilst still accomplishing an elegant, timeless look. 

Read more

New Homes blog

5 QUICK WINS TO MAKE YOUR HOME GREENER - BY AMY BAINES

10/01/2017

Today is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day and we have some helpful tips to help you make a few simple changes around your home to enjoy a greener lifestyle!

Read more

Corporate blog

LATEST INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2017 - BY JON PILLING OF ABODE INTERIORS

06/01/2017

With the door firmly closed on 2016, it is time to say hello to the fresh interior design trends the New Year has in store.

Read more

New Homes blog

ALTERNATIVE DINING TABLE CHRISTMAS DECORATION IDEAS - BY MARCUS OF THE CHRISTMAS DECORATORS

22/12/2016

One of the best things about Christmas has to be indulging in all of the delicious food! No matter how many people are gathered around your table, there’s no harm in adding a magic touch with some beautiful homemade decorations! Below are three simple, alternative dining table decoration ideas you can try out to impress your guests this festive season.

Read more

New Homes blog

LAST MINUTE WAYS TO LIGHT UP YOUR LOUNGE THIS CHRISTMAS - BY MARCUS OF THE CHRISTMAS DECORATORS

20/12/2016

Adding last minute decorations to your lounge can make your Christmas feel truly magical. Touching up your mantelpiece or including a splash of sparkle in everyday items are brilliant ways to make your decorations go that extra mile. Here are some tips for lighting up your lounge this week:

Read more

New Homes blog

EASY WAYS TO CREATE A FESTIVE FIREPLACE - BY MARCUS OF THE CHRISTMAS DECORATORS

07/12/2016

Christmas is almost upon us and we appreciate that parents want to make each year a magical experience for their children.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE STAND OUT FROM THE REST THIS CHRISTMAS - BY GUY LAMBERT

25/11/2016

Getting the decorations up really sparks everyone’s excitement for Christmas. Winter no longer seems dark and dull now that pretty tree and fairy lights are starting to pop up everywhere! When it comes to decorating your home, there really is no right or wrong way to do it though. Here are some easy ways to help make your house stand out from the rest this Christmas!

Read more

Corporate blog

HABITORIALS: HOW AN INNOVATIVE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMME HAS SHAPED A NEW COMMUNITY - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

16/11/2016

At Countryside, our work goes far beyond simply building outstanding new homes. We strongly believe in creating places of character and quality and encouraging neighbourhoods to thrive. We have always championed new ways to achieve this such as Habitorials.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW HELP TO BUY ALLOWED US TO REMAIN LIVING IN LONDON AND BUY OUR FIRST HOME FOR LESS! – BY ESRA GUNGOR

09/11/2016

First time buyer, Esra Gungor (30), Strictly Come Dancing’s head seamstress and her partner, Ian McNaughton (33) share their story on finding a new home for themselves and their son Finley. Esra explains how they have not had to compromise on a London location and how they have found it cheaper to buy than rent.

Read more

Corporate blog

THE GROWING DEMAND FOR A HIGH QUALITY RENTAL HOMES SECTOR - BY GUY LAMBERT

02/11/2016

With more than nine million people in the UK living in rented homes and great potential for that number to rise, demand for high quality professionally managed rental housing is increasing. Countryside is developing its presence in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and in the last 12 months has completed 743 such homes, predominantly in the North.

Read more

Corporate blog

NOW IS THE TIME TO START A CAREER IN HOUSEBUILDING - BY DANIEL HEARN

19/10/2016

With UK Construction Week underway promoting all aspects of the industry and encouraging young people to join, recent Countryside graduate Daniel Hearn explains the reasons why he thinks now is the time to start a career in the housebuilding sector.

Read more

Corporate blog

HEART OF ESSEX AWARDS REWARDS COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS - BY GUY LAMBERT

12/10/2016

We are delighted to have sponsored the Essex Chronicle Heart of Essex Awards again this year which celebrate and reward the inspiring community projects happening across our county.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW PART EXCHANGE HELPED US GET OUR DREAM HOME - BY ALEX STOLLERY

05/10/2016

After nine happy years at Countryside’s Beaulieu Park development in Chelmsford, Alex and Jane Stollery have recently used Countryside’s Part Exchange scheme to upsize into a larger family home for them and their two children at Beaulieu Chase in the city. Here Alex explains how the scheme proved an ideal solution for them.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO UTILISE UNUSED SPACE IN YOUR HOME - 6 USEFUL TIPS - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

28/09/2016

Most of us have a room or two in our homes that we could make better use of? Below are six ways to utilise that unused space to create an exciting and practical new area in your home.

Read more

New Homes blog

7 TOP TIPS TO CREATE A FABULOUS INTERIOR - BY JON PILLING OF ABODE INTERIORS

22/09/2016

Whether you have just moved into a new build home or you have fallen out of love with the interior of your current home, starting from scratch with interior design can be a daunting concept. So here are my top tips to creating your own amazing interiors accompanied by a timelapse film (below) which shows us doing just that for Countryside in one of the new show homes at St Luke’s Park in Runwell, Essex!

Read more

New Homes blog

MORTGAGES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN SECURING THE PAPERWORK

15/09/2016

For a first time buyer in particular, applying for a mortgage can be a daunting process. It’s not just about the amount of paperwork that you need to fill out but the terminology you may hear from your mortgage lender or financial adviser. What does it all mean?

Read more

New Homes blog

WHY BUYING IS CHEAPER THAN RENTING - BY FIRST TIME BUYER NINI MISHRA

08/09/2016

First time buyer Nini Mishra (32), a management consultant, has recently celebrated buying a spacious, two-bedroom home at Countryside’s St Paul’s Square development in Bow, London using the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. Nini shares with us how she has bucked the trend and was able to afford a home in the capital.

Read more

New Homes blog

12 EASY WAYS TO PERSONALISE YOUR NEW HOME, ONE ROOM AT A TIME - BY JAMIE WOODROW

01/09/2016

So the move from your old house to the brand new one is done, meaning the hardest part is over! Although unpacking may seem like a never ending task, it’s the next unavoidable ‘to do’ on the list that will transform your brand new empty house into your lovely new home.

Read more

New Homes blog

10 WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR HOME WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING - BY GUY LAMBERT

25/08/2016

Having a baby is a very exciting time, but there are a lot of things to consider before you bring your bundle of joy home for the first time! We have put together some useful tips on how to organise your home for your new baby.

Read more

Corporate blog

BUILDING FIRST CLASS CONNECTIONS: WHY INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT ARE VITAL - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

18/08/2016

It’s not just about the location of the homes we build, or the facilities surrounding them, that we consider when striving to create ‘Places People Love’. As developers when building new or regenerated communities we also ensure we provide residents with first class connections, to and from their homes.

Read more

New Homes blog

BRINGING THE OUTDOORS INDOORS: FIVE CREATIVE TIPS FOR A NATURAL THEME IN YOUR HOME - BY GUY LAMBERT

11/08/2016

A top interior trend for 2016 is for people to decorate their homes with ‘natural’ accessories from their gardens. Helping to create a calming living environment, this trend for bringing the outdoors indoors can be achieved quickly and easily with some of the ideas below.

Read more

New Homes blog

READY, GET SET, GO! TEN WAYS TO STAY ACTIVE THIS SUMMER - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

04/08/2016

Yet again, the Olympics has come around in a flash as late tomorrow sees the start of the Rio 2016 Games. Has talk of the Olympics inspired you to take up a new sporting hobby? Maybe Andy Murray has encouraged you to dust off the tennis racket and get down to your local court? Either way, it’s important to stay active during the summer holidays and some may need a little more inspiration than others.

Read more

New Homes blog

FIVE HOME PROJECTS FOR LITTLE HELPERS TO DO IT THEMSELVES - BY GUY LAMBERT

28/07/2016

While children are starting to enjoy their longest school break, parents may be thinking about how they will be keeping them occupied! For adults a school holiday is normally the ideal time to get stuck in to those long avoided DIY or garden projects that you’ve been meaning to start, but haven’t quite got round to, so why not ask for a helping hand!

Read more

Corporate blog

WORKING WITH LONDON’S BOROUGHS TO GENERATE GROWTH, HOUSING SUPPLY AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY - BY MICHAEL HILL

26/07/2016

I was delighted recently to welcome around 150 people to the launch of the New London Architecture’s Borough Strategies exhibition in a swelteringly hot central London. This was the first event in a programme called the Borough Strand, of which Countryside is one of two Principal Supporters, and which has the objective of promoting ideas and best practice across London’s 33 Boroughs.

Read more

Corporate blog

SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIPS PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN PLACEMAKING - BY MIKE GOULDING OF THE HCA

21/07/2016

 Building good partnerships with developers is essential in helping the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) ensure delivery of new homes across the country. This was fully demonstrated with our successful long-term working relationship with Countryside when the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Patricia Hughes recently came to visit St Luke’s Park in Runwell, Essex.

Read more

New Homes blog

BUDGETING TIPS AND TRICKS FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS MOVING HOME - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

14/07/2016

Buying a home is likely to be the most exciting yet expensive purchase you will make during your life. However, the long-term benefits of investing in bricks and mortar far outweighs the initial spend that you will make when stepping onto the first rung of the property ladder.

Read more

New Homes blog

SIX GREAT WAYS TO BUY A NEW HOME THIS SUMMER - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

07/07/2016

Whether you are a first time buyer or homeowner looking to move up the ladder, when it comes to buying a new home, many purchasers need some sort of assistance even when mortgage rates are as attractive as they are now. This is why Countryside offers a range of initiatives to give our customers the support they need to help make sure their move goes as smoothly as possible.

Read more

New Homes blog

ALFRESCO DINING WITH GALVIN: TIPS FOR A STAR QUALITY BARBECUE - BY CHRIS AND JEFF GALVIN

29/06/2016

At Countryside we don’t just make great inside space. Landscaped gardens, balconies and roof terraces all feature too. So with barbecue season upon us why not head for the great outdoors and organise an outstanding alfresco experience.

Read more

New Homes blog

TOP TIPS FOR UPSIZING YOUR HOME - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

23/06/2016

If you are soon to be starting a family or a new job has allowed you to buy a bigger property, there are a number of important factors to consider when upsizing to a new home. Here are our top tips for upsizing to a bigger, brighter new home.

Read more

Corporate blog

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING SCHOOL PLACES AT NEW DEVELOPMENTS - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

16/06/2016

According to official admissions figures released earlier this week, roughly one in six children in England did not get their first choice of secondary school. Behind the national average there were wide regional differences, with the lowest likelihood of getting a first place choice in London where only 68.8% of families received their first secondary school choice.

Read more

New Homes blog

SIX CREATIVE STORAGE IDEAS FOR OPEN PLAN LIVING - BY GUY LAMBERT

09/06/2016

With a large open plan space comes the endless possibilities of how to furnish it. But don’t be tempted to fill it with furniture you don’t need – use it wisely! There are many ways you can utilise a large space for clever storage without overcrowding or disturbing the current arrangement of your communal rooms.

Read more

New Homes blog

FIVE TIPS FOR CREATING INNOVATIVE WORK SPACE AT HOME - BY GUY LAMBERT

01/06/2016

Many of us dream of the ideal work/life balance where we can set our own schedule and work from home. According to a recent TUC report, nearly 1.5 million of us in the UK are now ‘living the dream’ by working from home.

Read more

New Homes blog

LOVE YOUR LAWN IN 8 SIMPLE STEPS - BY MATT REYNOLDS

26/05/2016

Your lawn really is an eye catcher for those that are taking even the smallest of glances at your garden. Whether it covers a large and spacious rear garden, or a small area in your driveway, a well-kept lawn will always get noticed. With the summer months almost upon us, and the prospect of BBQs ever more real, why not follow my eight simple steps that will help keep your lawn happy and healthy lawn throughout the summer months.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO SAVE FOR A DEPOSIT - FIVE TIPS FROM A FIRST TIMER BUYER - BY MALCOLM RITCHIE

24/05/2016

First time buyers Malcolm Ritchie (37), a paramedic from London and his girlfriend Morgan Levick (29) a flight attendant, have recently celebrated buying a spacious, two-bedroom apartment at Countryside and L&Q’s Acton Gardens development in West London, using the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme. Malcolm has been kind enough to share with us his top tips on how to save for a deposit.

Read more

New Homes blog

FINANCE FRIDAY: MORTGAGE ADVICE FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS - BY PAUL NYE

20/05/2016

When it comes to buying a home, first-time buyers have a lot to get their head around. From which mortgage deals are the best, to how to read the small print there are many questions that need answering. We put the key questions to Paul Nye, a Director of Stonebridge Group, one of the UK’s largest mortgage brokers, as part of New Homes Week.

Read more

New Homes blog

THE VALUE OF GOOD DESIGN - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

18/05/2016

Legendary American architect, Frank Lloyd-Wright, once said ‘All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable.’When it comes to striking architecture and design, I often think of European Gothic masterpieces, Victorian grandeur or Art Deco that can be seen all across North America. These pieces stir the imagination, inspire us and elements, I’m sure, would often crop up in many people’s dream homes.

Read more

New Homes blog

THE BENEFITS OF ULTRA FAST BROADBAND AT BEAULIEU - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

17/05/2016

As more homes are built across the country, the provision of high quality technological infrastructure in developments is becoming as important as the social and physical infrastructure required to create a new community. Whilst the early provision of schools, parks and play areas remain key to the creation of a neighbourhood of lasting value, we are also looking to adopt the latest technology to ensure our residents can enjoy a modern, connected home with the next generation of broadband speed.

Read more

New Homes blog

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

16/05/2016

It really is important to get to know your neighbours. I’ve always found that if you need help or something’s wrong, it’s good to know that there’s someone who can help you who is just next door. Aside from the favours that you and your neighbour can help each other with, such as keeping an eye on your home when you’re away, it’s a great way of creating a sense of safety, security and community.

Read more

New Homes blog

THE SIX KEY BENEFITS OF BUYING A NEW HOME - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

12/05/2016

Gone are the days when buying a new home means sacrificing on personality. There’s a lot more variety from spacious apartments to family-friendly houses and townhouses, whether you are a first-time buyer, upsizing or downsizing there are countless designs and styles to choose from in all price ranges. Importantly these homes will be designed for modern living with light filled spaces, especially if you choose a new home from Countryside.

Read more

Corporate blog

THE COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ALLOWS COMMUNITIES TO GROW AND THRIVE - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

05/05/2016

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.

Read more

Corporate blog

PEDAL POWER FOR THE J’S HOSPICE - BY ANDREW DAY

04/05/2016

On Sunday 1st May, Admirals Park in Chelmsford was a sea of bicycles, cycling helmets and lycra, as Team Beaulieu got on their bikes to take part in the annual Pedal for The J’s bike ride.

Read more

New Homes blog

FIVE ROOM BY ROOM TOP TIPS FOR A GREENER HOME - BY GUY LAMBERT

27/04/2016

From February 1st to April 30th 2016, the nation has been encouraged to go green for a week. National Green Week is an annual event that invites people to take part in sustainability focused activities to reduce their carbon footprint.

Read more

Corporate blog

ARE LOCAL AUTHORITIES FACING A PERFECT STORM OR JUST SOME ROUGH WEATHER? - BY MICHAEL HILL

19/04/2016

Local authorities have now been under severe financial pressure for several years as a result of a continuing reduction in the level of central government grant support.

Read more

New Homes blog

SEVEN SAVVY, SPACE SAVING GARDENING TIPS - BY MATT REYNOLDS

14/04/2016

If you have a small garden, patio space or even just a balcony, it shouldn’t mean that you have to compromise on beauty! Whether its vegetables, flowers or herbs you wish to grow in your garden, these top space and money saving tips will definitely help you on your way to having an impressive display by the time that summer comes around.

Read more

Corporate blog

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING HABITAT ‘HAVENS’ FOR WILDLIFE - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

12/04/2016

Natural England, a government body in charge of protecting wildlife, is drafting proposals on how developers such as Countryside deal with protected species on and near their developments.

Read more

New Homes blog

FIVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A FIRST TIME BUYER – BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

07/04/2016

Buying a new home is an exciting moment in anyone’s life, especially for the first time. There are many things that need to be considered and below we have put together the top five things to consider.

Read more

Corporate blog

COUNTRYSIDE’S SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2015: PLACE MAKING & GROWTH - BY ANDREW DAY

05/04/2016

Countryside’s commitment to place making and sustainable development is very important to us as we strive to create ‘Places People Love’. Whether we are regenerating existing neighbourhoods or creating new homes and communities, we develop places that are socially inclusive and have lower environmental impacts.

Read more

Corporate blog

CREATING OUTDOOR SPACES FOR BETTER HEALTH - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

31/03/2016

Although it may not always seem like it Spring is finally with us, so now is a great time to get out into the fresh air. A variety of research funded by the Government, highlights the significance of visiting green, open spaces and the effects they have on improving people’s mental and physical health.

Read more

Corporate blog

MIPIM 2016 – WHAT WE LEARNED FOR PARTNERSHIP BASED REGENERATION - BY MICHAEL HILL

24/03/2016

I have recently returned from the 2016 MIPIM Conference in Cannes with my colleagues Richard Cherry, Ian Simpson and Davinia Venton. MIPIM bills itself as ‘the world’s property market’ and with 23,500 attendees from around 90 countries it was busier than ever. MIPIM is a unique opportunity for the global property industry to gather away from the normal business environment.

Read more

New Homes blog

10 SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE WAYS TO TRANSFORM YOUR HOME THIS EASTER - BY JAMIE WOODROW

23/03/2016

Although DIY may not be everyone’s favourite task, the Easter weekend provides the perfect opportunity for a little spruce up here and there around the house. There are ways in which you can embrace the spring and add some more colour and light into your home without taking too much relaxation time out of the upcoming Bank Holiday.

Read more

Corporate blog

CREATING BETTER PLACES TO LIVE ADDS SUBSTANTIAL VALUE - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

17/03/2016

Good place making can add substantial value to homes, according to new research by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The ‘Placemaking and Value’ report found that the key item for people is the concept of ‘neighbourhood’ with proximity to local facilities and shops also ranked highly.

Read more

Corporate blog

APPRENTICES BUILD ON EXPERIENCE FOR NEW CAREERS IN CONSTRUCTION - BY PAUL SWEENEY

14/03/2016

This year, as part of National Apprenticeship Week (14 – 18 March) the Government is advocating that employers “pass the torch” of knowledge from one generation onto the next. Countryside remains an enthusiastic supporter of apprenticeships, boosting much-needed skills and leading people on to successful careers in the construction sector.

Read more

Corporate blog

LONDON HOUSING COMMISSION: FINDING EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS TO LONDON’S HOUSING CRISIS - BY MICHAEL HILL

09/03/2016

I was invited on Monday to the launch of the London Housing Commission's keenly awaited final report, 'Building a new deal for London'. The report was presented by the Commission's Chair, Lord Kerslake and was followed by speeches from three of the candidates for Mayor of London - Zac Goldsmith, Sadiq Khan and Caroline Pidgeon.

Read more

Corporate blog

CELEBRATING WOMEN IN THE HOUSEBUILDING INDUSTRY - BY GUY LAMBERT

08/03/2016

House building is traditionally a male-dominated sector but here at Countryside, we have more female employees than ever. To mark International Women’s Day today, here we highlight the growing role that women play in the industry.

Read more

New Homes blog

EIGHT WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR GARDEN FOR SPRING/SUMMER - BLOG BY MATT REYNOLDS

03/03/2016

It’s safe to say that there is one thing that is looking forward to warmer weather even more than you are…..your garden has been freezing and bare for the past four months and it’s time to finally give it some TLC.

Read more

New Homes blog

SIX ESSENTIAL SPRING SUMMER INTERIOR TRENDS OF 2016 - BLOG BY JON PILLING

25/02/2016

If you like to freshen up your home and stay on trend throughout the year, you’ll no doubt want to look at the upcoming trends that will slowly but surely be edging in to our homes throughout spring and summer.

Read more

New Homes blog

EIGHT IDEAS FOR DECORATING YOUR CHILDREN’S ROOM - BLOG BY GUY LAMBERT

18/02/2016

If you’ve just moved into a new home or want to improve the one you have, personalising your child’s room is key to helping them love where you live. A bedroom is important to a child of any age. It’s their own sanctuary where they can retreat to if their siblings are getting on their nerves or they just need a little privacy.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHY LOCAL AUTHORITY FUNDING REDUCTIONS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY - BLOG BY MICHAEL HILL

16/02/2016

The Local Government Association has recently warned that funding reductions will be challenging for councils over the next four years given that Revenue Support Grant is being reduced by Government by 28%.

Read more

New Homes blog

NEW HOMES TAKE PRESSURE OFF HOUSING STRUGGLE IN ESSEX - BLOG BY GERALD SEARLE

10/02/2016

Essex is becoming a hotspot location particularly for those people who want to move out of London. There are good reasons for that. With home buyers increasingly wanting to feel like they’re living in the country Essex ticks the boxes.

Read more

New Homes blog

GET ON THE GREEN SCENE FOR NATIONAL GREEN WEEK - BLOG BY GUY LAMBERT

04/02/2016

New build homes are much cheaper to run and will lower your household’s carbon footprint, but whether you have a new home or an old one there are still many ways in which you can make your home greener.

Read more

New Homes blog

MAKING BUYING IN LONDON EASIER WITH NEW HELP TO BUY LONDON - BLOG BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

26/01/2016

Property prices in London have risen higher and faster than anywhere else in the country, making it more challenging than ever for aspiring homeowners in the capital to buy a home of their own. For many people living in London, rising prices have made home ownership seem unattainable.

Read more

New Homes blog

SIMPLE WAYS TO ENCOURAGE WILDLIFE IN YOUR GARDEN - BLOG BY MATT REYNOLDS

21/01/2016

Increasing the biodiversity of your garden doesn't have to be hard, or compromise the way it looks. Whether its bees, bugs or birds, we all know that wildlife has a positive effect on our gardens.

Read more

New Homes blog

THE MORTGAGE MARKET OUTLOOK FOR 2016 - BLOG BY PAUL NYE

19/01/2016

Commentators have long speculated about an imminent rise in bank base rates only to see their predicted date come and go without change.

Read more

Corporate blog

A FURTHER BOOST FOR ESTATE REGENERATION - BLOG BY MICHAEL HILL

13/01/2016

The Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday of a new initiative to transform 100 of the country’s most run-down local authority housing estates gave a further boost to estate regeneration following the Autumn Spending Review announcement of £2.3 billion of loans to help regenerate large council estates and will further assist with affordability.

Read more

New Homes blog

CAMBRIDGE REMAINS A STRONG INVESTMENT FOR 2016 - BLOG BY DAVID BENTLEY

12/01/2016

The limited supply of new homes in Cambridge versus high levels of demand has been the main factor in driving house price growth in the city. There are numerous reasons why the city’s property market is a safe bet and we predict that growth will continue in 2016.

Read more

New Homes blog

WHY THE HOUSING MARKET IN 2016 WILL BE STRONG - BLOG BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

06/01/2016

The housing market has enjoyed a vibrant few years and I see no reason why 2016 will change that.

Read more

New Homes blog

SEVEN WAYS TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR HOME AFTER CHRISTMAS - BY GUY LAMBERT

06/01/2016

The Christmas tree has been taken down, the decorations packed away until next year and the last traces of the festive season have been cleared up. Your home might be feeling just a little bit bare and gloomy, which is why it’s the ideal time to give it a refresh to help you embrace the New Year in style.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO DECORATE YOUR MANTELPIECE WITH YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS GARLAND - BY MARCUS OF THE CHRISTMAS DECORATORS

07/12/2015

Your mantelpiece is the focal point of your room, so why not make a feature out of it? You can buy Christmas garlands but it’s easy to make an amazing one of your own that will really add to the Christmas look in your living area.

Read more

New Homes blog

TOP TIPS FOR DRESSING YOUR TABLE FOR CHRISTMAS - BY MARCUS OF THE CHRISTMAS DECORATORS

07/12/2015

Do you have masses of guests round on Christmas Day and throughout the festive season? Or are your festive celebrations are on a smaller scale? Regardless of the number of people joining you over the holiday season, you will hopefully be tucking in to a delicious Christmas dinner and other special meals with family and friends. For that extra festive feel, why not follow our top tips on how to make your table extra special this year and take a look at the accompanying video.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHAT EFFECT WILL THE AUTUMN SPENDING REVIEW HAVE ON REGENERATION AND PARTNERSHIPS? - BY MICHAEL HILL

03/12/2015

The Chancellor’s Autumn Spending Review contained a great deal that is of interest to us and it is generally very supportive of our efforts to increase housebuilding activity and to work with local authorities to meet their housing challenges.

Read more

New Homes blog

BOOSTING HOME OWNERSHIP THROUGH HELP TO BUY - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

01/12/2015

Since it was introduced in 2013, Help to Buy has provided the largest single boost from the Government to the housing market and first time buyers in particular. With plans for a London Help to Buy scheme announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last week and the Help to Buy ISA launching this week, there is increasing help for aspiring homebuyers to get on the property ladder.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO DRESS YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE FOR STUNNING EFFECT - BY MARCUS OF THE CHRISTMAS DECORATORS

30/11/2015

With less than a month to go until the big day it’s time to tackle the big Christmas feature: your Christmas tree! Most people in the UK buy their Christmas tree during the second week of December, especially if they’re buying a real one to prevent needles dropping too soon. However, if you want to avoid the tricky business of finding a good real tree and avoid the mess, it’s possible to invest in a quality artificial one.

Read more

Corporate blog

CAN WE DELIVER THE GOVERNMENT’S AMBITION FOR NEW HOMES? - BY MIKE LAMBERT

26/11/2015

The scale of the challenge has been well rehearsed over the last few years and I cannot recall a time in my working life when housing has been such a political priority, as re-emphasised by the Autumn Statement. Yet our ability to meet the challenge of delivering 1 million new homes in the lifetime of this Parliament remains uncertain.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO MAKE A FABULOUS CHRISTMAS WREATH - BY MARCUS FROM THE CHRISTMAS DECORATORS

23/11/2015

So Christmas is approaching fast and it’s definitely time to start thinking about dressing your home. A Christmas wreath is a lovely way to welcome guests and visitors to your home at this time of year. They are really fun and easy to make, and display on your front door, especially with our special tips and tricks in this blog and the accompanying video below this image.

Read more

Corporate blog

WE NEED MORE HOMES – WHO WILL DELIVER? THE ALAN CHERRY DEBATE AND AWARD FOR PLACEMAKING 2015 - BY RICHARD CHERRY

16/11/2015

Now a firm fixture in the annual property events calendar, this year’s Alan Cherry Debate at the RICS in London, discussed what must surely be hottest topic in property sector; “We need more homes - who will deliver them, when and where?”

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE PENSION REFORMS - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

12/11/2015

New legislation introduced in April means that over-55s now have real freedom over how they take an income from their pensions, permitting them to cash-in their pension pots and invest this money as they choose, making buying an investment property a realistic opportunity.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO DECORATE YOUR FIRST HOME ON A BUDGET - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

05/11/2015

When you finally get your foot on the property ladder and move into your first home, it is nice to be able to put your own stamp on your home and add some personal style. Here are my simple ideas on how to add interior style on a budget:

Read more

New Homes blog

NINE TIPS TO HELP YOU DECLUTTER BEFORE YOU DOWNSIZE - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

27/10/2015

If you are thinking of downsizing your property, you are probably wondering how you will fit all of your possessions into your new smaller home. All of us accumulate belongings over the years – and if the thought of sifting through it all makes you uneasy, here are my nine practical and effective steps to decluttering before you downsize:

Read more

New Homes blog

UPDATE YOUR HOME WITH THE LATEST AUTUMN/WINTER INTERIORS TRENDS - BY ELLEN LEEDHAM

22/10/2015

As autumn sets in, the days get shorter and Christmas is round the corner, it is time to create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere in our homes. Here are some top tips from Suna Interior Design on how to use current interior design trends to achieve a chic but homely look that will keep the chill off as the nights draw in.

Read more

New Homes blog

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME ESPECIALLY FOR YOUR CHILDREN - BY GUY LAMBERT

14/10/2015

Moving house is a big step for everyone involved, especially your children. Moving from familiarity to the unknown may be daunting for your little (or not so little) ones, but don’t let that put a downer on the move. I’ve moved twice with my young family and whilst it’s been made easier by staying in the same area, here are my nine simple steps to take when helping your children adjust to life in their new family home.

Read more

New Homes blog

SEVEN TIPS ON WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A NEW HOME - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

08/10/2015

If you are thinking about buying a new home, you mustn’t forget the all-important details to look out for! Everyone’s requirements are different, whether it’s a spacious garden, plenty of storage space, a quiet neighbourhood, or a thriving community, but here are my top tips everyone can keep in mind when looking around a new home.

Read more

Corporate blog

UK CONSTRUCTION WEEK 2015: SKILL BUILDING LEADS TO BETTER HOUSE BUILDING - BY GRAHAM CHERRY

06/10/2015

As the industry gathers to celebrate this year’s UK Construction Week (6 – 11 October), the achievements of the sector remains somewhat overshadowed by the skills shortage. As housebuilding production levels continue to improve, the demand for a more skilled and diverse workforce is increasing.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW TO KEEP YOUR GREENERY FROM FEELING BLUE THIS AUTUMN/WINTER – BY MATT REYNOLDS

30/09/2015

So autumn is now with us although with all this lovely sunshine perhaps it does not feel like it just yet! Although it may feel like all your hard work during the summer in the garden should be tailing off as we enter autumn, there is still much to be done to keep your garden looking great.

Read more

New Homes blog

7 TOP TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

24/09/2015

With an average of eight potential buyers per house on the market, it’s a fantastic time to sell your home. However, selling can still be a stressful experience. To really maximise the potential value of your home and get it sold and off the market as quickly as possible there are plenty of things you can do to make your property the home of someone’s dreams!

Read more

New Homes blog

10 WAYS TO SAVE A DEPOSIT FOR YOUR FIRST HOME - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

10/09/2015

Buying your first home is a big step in your life: finally getting the keys to your very own property is an exciting moment that makes the journey to get there all the more worthwhile. However, for many first time buyers, rising house prices and high initial deposits can make it seem like an impossible task, but no one should lose hope!

Read more

New Homes blog

SIX WAYS TO HELP YOUR PETS ADJUST WHEN YOU MOVE HOUSE - BY GUY LAMBERT

03/09/2015

According to Pet Plan, we are a nation of animal lovers, with over 24 million pets in the UK! Whether its cats, dogs, birds or rabbits, pets can often be central to our lives and we all know it’s important to give animals a stable and welcoming place to call home. I know how important our dog is to my family - just ask my sons! So, what happens when you move house?

Read more

Corporate blog

THE ART NAVIGATOR - BY ALISON TURNBALL

26/08/2015

Public Art is often the glue that begins to knit the existing and the new communities together, and the powerful elements that give a new neighbourhood its distinctive character – clearly something which housebuilders, including Countryside, are recognising. Increasingly, there is research evidence demonstrating the significant benefits to well-being, to long-term effects of modernisation and distinctiveness that well-conceived public art projects can achieve with community engagement.

Read more

Corporate blog

HEART OF ESSEX AWARD WINNERS CROWNED - BY GUY LAMBERT

12/08/2015

As part of our on-going commitment to working with organisations and charities in our local area, this year we were delighted to sponsor the Essex Chronicle Group’s Heart of Essex awards which celebrate the vital work of voluntary networks. The aim is to reward unsung heroes of our community - the charities, organisations, clubs and not-for-profit groups who often struggle for funds and publicity to raise their profiles.

Read more

Corporate blog

THE REAL TEST OF WHETHER A NEW COMMUNITY IS SUSTAINABLE - BY GRAHAM CHERRY

04/08/2015

There is so much talk about sustainable communities but the real test of whether a new place is sustainable is to visit it 10, 20 or more years after the diggers have moved out. Has it been a sustained success and become a place of character and quality where people feel a sense of belonging? Has it flourished as the community has developed, the setting matured and its reputation prospered?

Read more

Corporate blog

HM TREASURY TAKES ON PLANNING ROLE - BY MIKE LAMBERT

30/07/2015

HM Treasury's Productivity Plan states clearly that housing is a national priority, and outlines a further set of measures it believes will help boost the supply of land for housing. However, whilst positive, planning for the country's housing needs remains reliant on the cornerstone of the last Government's 'Localism' agenda.

Read more

Corporate blog

FACILITATING REGENERATED COMMUNITIES - BY RICHARD CHERRY

28/07/2015

The heart of what we aim to do as a business is to create ‘Places People Love’, but what goes into developing a successful regenerated community? It is not just about building bricks and mortar, there is a lot more to re-establishing a place where people want to live.

Read more

Corporate blog

L&Q AND COUNTRYSIDE - A WINNING COMBINATION - BY ADAM SIMPSON

17/07/2015

L&Q is working as a joint venture partner on a number of developments with Countryside so I was delighted to be asked to take part in July’s ‘Creating Places and Communities’ campaign and have the opportunity to share our collaborative experience.

Read more

Corporate blog

SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL DELIVERY - BY RICHARD CHERRY

30/06/2015

In recognition of Countryside’s Partnership month, which has been a popular topic across our social media networks this month, I was delighted to be asked to highlight some of Countryside’s recent successful partnerships.

Read more

Corporate blog

EXTENDING RIGHT TO BUY TO THE HOUSING ASSOCIATION SECTOR - AN UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCE? - BY MICHAEL HILL

16/06/2015

Much of the recent debate about the Government’s proposal to extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants has revolved around the potentially adverse impact on Housing Associations’ ability to raise private finance, a very serious issue given that they are now almost totally dependent on private finance as opposed to public grants.

Read more

Corporate blog

FAMILY OF DEER MAKE A WELCOME RETURN TO BEAULIEU - BY RICHARD CHERRY

05/06/2015

This week we reached a significant milestone on our highly-anticipated Beaulieu development, with the vision of my father and founder of the company, Alan Cherry, coming to fruition. Countryside and our joint-venture partners L&Q were delighted to host Chelmsford’s Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Leader of the Council, local councillors and planning principals to Beaulieu, showing them the fantastic progress we have made, and sharing our vision for the development.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHAT CONTRIBUTION CAN THE PRIVATE SECTOR MAKE TO DELIVERING THE NEW HOMES LONDON NEEDS? - BY MICHAEL HILL

02/06/2015

In my last blog (on 13.05.15) I suggested that a much greater percentage of London’s future housing supply would need to come from the redevelopment of public sector assets as opposed to the one-off development of brownfield sites. I also said that in the interests of fairness I would consider whether the private sector was doing its 'fair share.’

Read more

Corporate blog

A CAREER IN HOUSEBUILDING: AS SAFE AS HOUSES - BY GRAHAM CHERRY

27/05/2015

Countryside is particularly proud of its reputation as a responsible and engaging employer, and of our contribution to helping train and develop the skills of both the current and future house building workforce. This is evidenced by our industry-leading 15 years of Investors in People accreditation, and our commitment to rewarding, training and developing talent within the organisation and beyond.

Read more

Corporate blog

AT YOUR SERVICE: CONCIERGE SERVICES AT GREENWICH MILLENNIUM VILLAGE - BY BILL CLARKE

21/05/2015

The job of a concierge is essentially to make residents at a development feel looked after, make their lives easier and ensure they are getting value for money from the service charges that they pay.

Read more

Corporate blog

APPRENTICESHIPS CAREERS ON FIRM FOUNDATIONS - BY PAUL SWEENEY

19/05/2015

Construction skills are the lifeblood of the housebuilding industry and quality apprenticeship programmes are vital to ensure these skills remain a valuable asset.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHY WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR ESTATE TO GENERATE NEW HOMES IN LONDON - BY MICHAEL HILL

13/05/2015

Now that the General Election is over we can concentrate on the biggest single problem in London, i.e. the shortage of affordable housing. And, when a recent survey has calculated that a first time buyer now needs a salary of no less than £77,000 to buy a new home in London, it is clear that affordable needs to be very widely defined!

Read more

Corporate blog

WHAT REALLY MAKES A PLACE PEOPLE LOVE? - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

30/04/2015

We understand there is more to a home than bricks and mortar, however achieving the perfect balance between practical needs and emotive desires can make choosing your next place to live difficult.

Read more

New Homes blog

OUR 5 TOP TIPS FOR CREATING A VIBRANT GARDEN THIS SPRING - BY MATT REYNOLDS

22/04/2015

Gardens can be just as unique and varied as the interior of a home, with some creative people using their garden as an extension of their living space, whilst others prefer to grow fruit, vegetables, herbs or flowers. Whichever you prefer, spring is the ideal time to get your garden ready for the summer and to bring some colour back.

Read more

New Homes blog

WHAT THE PENSION REFORMS MEAN TO THE PROPERTY MARKET - BUY-TO-LET BABY BOOMERS BECOME BIG NEWS - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

07/04/2015

The Government has introduced pension reforms which have given the over-55s, ‘the baby boomers’, a great opportunity to invest in property and enjoy excellent returns from their pension savings.

Read more

COUNTRYSIDE PUBLISHES 2014 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

01/04/2015

I am pleased to say that Countryside has just published its 14th annual Sustainability Report, highlighting our contribution to the creation and improvement of residential communities in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. We welcome your feedback on it.

Read more

Corporate blog

HARD-WORKING DESIGN ALL IN A DAY'S WORK - BY ALISON BROOKS

31/03/2015

Working with Countryside and L&Q on two of their major London regeneration schemes I was delighted to be asked to take part in the March ‘Design Month’ campaign and for the opportunity to describe the vision for our most recent collaboration, Brook Valley Gardens.

Read more

Corporate blog

A DESIGNER FOR LIFE - WHAT IT TAKES TO DESIGN COUNTRYSIDE'S NEW HOMES AND PLACES - BY DAVE DEVRIES

26/03/2015

In recognition of Countryside’s Design Month, which has been a popular topic across our social media networks throughout March, I was delighted to be asked to provide some insight into what goes into designing a Countryside development. Having created masterplans and concept designs for a significant number of our regeneration and new homes schemes over the last twenty years, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about how to design and create places and homes that people love!

Read more

Corporate blog

YOUNG APPRENTICES LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A SOLID CAREER - BY RICHARD CHERRY

10/03/2015

National Apprenticeship Week (9 - 13 March) is a great opportunity to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy, and the importance of training the country’s future workforce – something that we recognise.

Read more

Corporate blog

MEET THE WOMEN IN HARD HATS WORKING HARD IN HOUSE BUILDING - BY GRAHAM CHERRY

05/03/2015

At Countryside, we are as passionate about our people as we are about our homes and places we create. We are proud, and lucky, to have an incredibly talented and diverse team that is committed to creating the very best places to live.

Read more

Corporate blog

COUNTRYSIDE GROWTH BRINGS SUBSTANTIAL ESSEX INVESTMENT - BY GRAHAM CHERRY

26/02/2015

2015 is shaping up to be a landmark year for Countryside, especially for our operations within Essex, where we have always had our headquarters. We are set to make a major return to our Essex heartland by launching six new developments in the county in 2015, including the much anticipated Beaulieu in Chelmsford.

Read more

Corporate blog

KNOCK IT DOWN OR DO IT UP? - BY MICHAEL HILL

19/02/2015

The London Assembly has just produced a report entitled ‘Knock it down or do it up?’ which aims to improve the process of regenerating local authority and housing association owned housing estates.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHAT'S THE ROLE OF PUBLIC ART IN PLACE MAKING? - BY ANDREW CARRINGTON

11/02/2015

At Countryside we have been incorporating public art into our developments for more than 20 years, particularly at large sites such as Great Kneighton in Cambridge and Beaulieu in Chelmsford, where we are building complete new neighbourhoods.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHY WE NEED REFORM OF THE GREEN BELT IN LONDON AND THE SOUTH EAST - BY MIKE LAMBERT

20/01/2015

Recent reports by the London Society and the Adam Smith Institute demonstrate there is clearly growing evidence that a comprehensive review of the purpose and role of the Green Belt in London and the South East is required. London simply cannot meet its housing targets without it.

Read more

New Homes blog

WITH HELP TO BUY AT ITS PEAK, IT’S THE PRIME TIME TO BUY - BY PETER VELLA

15/01/2015

2015 has kick-started with the welcome news that sales through Help to Buy have hit more than 73,000 since its launch in 2013. It’s surely not a coincidence that it was also recently revealed that the number of first time buyers in the UK rose last year to its highest since 2007.

Read more

Corporate blog

FINDING THE RIGHT LAND FOR DEVELOPMENT BY NICK JACKSON OF MILLGATE

10/12/2014

Millgate's approach to land buying can be defined by good land acquisitions attained through submitting appropriate planning applications. If a location isn’t quite right, a site won’t work so we are very thorough with our research and take the time to establish exactly what is required for an area – in actual fact we reject many more sites than we accept.

Read more

Corporate blog

THE HOUSING MARKET IN 2015 - A PAUSE FOR BREATH - BY ANDREW LOVEDAY

01/12/2014

As a nation we are obsessed with house prices and at the end of each year we try to judge what will happen to the housing market in the year to come.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS FOR DELIVERING ESTATE RENEWAL? - BY MICHAEL HILL

12/11/2014

The Future of London’s Delivering Estate Renewal conference, which was held last Thursday (November 6th) and which we were delighted to sponsor, proved to be a very successful and stimulating day.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHY THE GLA’S LONDON HOUSING BANK SHOULD BE WELCOMED - BY MICHAEL HILL

15/10/2014

A brisk start to this week; I was invited by the GLA to give the developer perspective at a consultation event at City Hall early on Monday morning on the London Housing Bank (LHB).

Read more

Corporate blog

WHY WE MUST JUDGE REGENERATION SCHEMES IN THE MEDIUM AND LONG-TERM - BY MICHAEL HILL

24/09/2014

Last week I took advantage of the glorious late September sunshine to walk around North Peckham, and more specifically an area formerly known as the Five Estates, to see how the transformational work that we did with Southwark Council and our partners, including Hyde Housing, under the Peckham Partnership between 1994 and 2008 was standing the test of time.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHY WE ARE STILL JUST TINKERING WITH THE PLANNING SYSTEM - BY MIKE LAMBERT

04/09/2014

The Government’s consultation on a number of changes to the planning system is welcome recognition from them that there is still a problem with planning.

Read more

Corporate blog

GO AHEAD FOR FIRST NEW HOMES AT BEAULIEU - BY GRAHAM CHERRY

14/08/2014

Beaulieu in Chelmsford is the largest strategic site we have ever developed and we are very pleased to have recently been granted planning permission for the first phase of new homes there.

Read more

New Homes blog

HOW YOU CAN MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR OUTSIDE SPACE - BY MATT REYNOLDS

11/08/2014

To help you make the most of your garden, patio, backyard or balcony Matt Reynolds, Countryside’s Senior Landscape Designer gives his handy tips.

Read more

Corporate blog

SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF OUR ‘TOUR DE SITES’ CHARITY CYCLE EVENT - BY GRAHAM CHERRY

03/07/2014

Last Saturday morning I joined 21 other Countryside staff and guests on our first ever ‘Tour de Sites’ charity cycling event – our very own mini Tour de France! Kitted out in our branded cycling gear we took to the roads, cycling 92km along part of the Tour de France route passing several of Countryside’s new and existing developments from Cambridge through to Chelmsford.

Read more

Corporate blog

WE BUILD HOMES NOT CARS - BY MICHAEL HILL

01/07/2014

I attended a seminar on improving efficiency and delivery in housing at the CIH conference in Manchester last week. For a conference that started at 9.30am and which followed a very late dinner, my spirits were actually pleasantly high. However, they soon sank very quickly. The reason? Analogies were being made between the UK house building industry and the worldwide car manufacturing industry. Oh dear!

Read more

Corporate blog

WHY I JOINED COUNTRYSIDE AND MY VIEWS ON THE HOUSING MARKET AND THE ELECTION EFFECT - BY DAVID HOWELL

24/06/2014

David Howell recently joined Countryside as an Independent non-Executive Director after 10 years in a similar role for Berkeley Homes. Here, he gives us an insight to why he joined Countryside, his views on the housing market and the effect the election could have on it and how his role can assist Countryside’s growth plan.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHY WE SHOULD WELCOME THE HOUSING ZONES - BY MICHAEL HILL

19/06/2014

The announcement last week (June 13) by the Chancellor and Mayor of London that 20 Housing Zones would be created in London, with a further 10 in the rest of the country, was very welcome, particularly as it doubles the number of Zones previously announced for London.

Read more

Corporate blog

A CLEAN SWEEP OF AWARDS AT CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW! - BY GRAHAM CHERRY

27/05/2014

We were absolutely delighted to be awarded a Gold Medal and Best Fresh Garden for our ‘Mind’s Eye Garden’ in partnership with RNIB at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last week and then late on Friday we received the full sweep of awards when the garden won the BBC / RHS People’s Choice award in the Fresh Garden category! For everyone involved, the whole Chelsea experience has been fantastic.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES IN INCREASING HOUSING OUTPUT? – PART 2, BY RICHARD CHERRY

27/05/2014

In the second part of this blog post I will look at the vital roles that the private rented sector, planning and land supply play in new housing supply and how they can be improved.

Read more

Corporate blog

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES IN INCREASING HOUSING OUTPUT? - PART 1, BY RICHARD CHERRY

22/05/2014

I spoke recently at the Alan Cherry Debate about what house builders can do directly by themselves, and in partnership with the public sector, to improve the short and long-term supply of new homes.

Read more

Corporate blog

HOW WE CAN INCREASE THE SUPPLY OF HOMES IN LONDON - BY MICHAEL HILL

21/05/2014

The biggest single challenge facing London today is how to increase housing supply, particularly homes that are affordable to the majority of Londoners.

Read more

Corporate blog

SHARE OUR PASSION FOR GARDENS AND LANDSCAPE AT CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW - BY DAVE FOUNTAIN

14/05/2014

Countryside is the proud sponsor of one of the Fresh Gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The RNIB/Countryside ‘Mind’s Eye Garden’ is a modern sensory garden, inspired by a joint scheme between Countryside and RNIB to redevelop the existing RNIB Community Living Service facilities at Redhill, Surrey. We are delighted to be partnering RNIB to provide them with a platform to promote this fantastic charity.

Read more

Corporate blog

HOW PARTNERSHIPS ARE OFTEN THE BEST WAY OF DEVELOPING COMPLEX SITES - BY IAN SUTCLIFFE

24/04/2014

Together with our partners, Liberty Property Trust, we were recently awarded the coveted ‘Place Making’ award in the Property Awards for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Read more

Corporate blog

COUNTRYSIDE THE PLACEMAKER: INTRODUCING A STRONGER, RE-ENERGISED BRAND - BY IAN SUTCLIFFE

09/04/2014

You may have noticed that we have recently unveiled a new corporate brand identity and we are now simply called Countryside rather than Countryside Properties.

Read more

Corporate blog

THE THREE CLEAR MESSAGES FROM MIPIM AND THE BUDGET OF NO SURPRISES - BY MICHAEL HILL

20/03/2014

Richard Cherry, Ian Simpson and I joined around 20,000 other delegates at MIPIM last week in what proved to be an extremely useful, interesting, but tiring few days.

Read more

Corporate blog

A HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND REGENERATION? - BY MICHAEL HILL

07/01/2014

What are the prospects for the delivery of new, affordable homes and housing regeneration? Two publications late last year have very significant implications for those of us working in London and the South East and provide grounds for optimism.

Read more

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.

News subscription

Keep up to date with what’s happening at Countryside. Sign up below if you wish to receive our daily news email.

Select the alerts that you would like to receive


Your contact details

First name:*
Last name:*
Email address:*

* denotes required fields

You can change your preferences or unsubscribe at any time.