Larkfleet Homes’ engagement with the communities in which it works and its efforts to improve the UK’s housing stock saw it recognised as the judges’ Housebuilder of the Year.
Larkfleet’s commitment to sustainable development stood out with the judges, specifically its work to alleviate and overcome flood risk.
The company is developing a low-carbon low-flood risk house prototype that could be turned into a viable commercial model for homes to be built safely in areas susceptible to flooding.
The group is designing the house to allow it to be raised during flooding and is in talks with the Environment Agency with the aim of having the model ready for the market in two years’ time.
It hired a new director of special projects in 2015 specifically to lead the team in developing schemes that could transform the building of new homes across the UK in flood risk areas.
“Larkfleet’s commitment to, and passion for, research and development was disproportionately high for the size of the business”
Judges were also impressed by Larkfleet’s work with communities, which went above and beyond section 106 demands.
During 2015, the company made the first payments from its Larkfleet Community Fund, which offers up to £500 for each house built for sale on the open market to be put towards creating communities and integrating new housing developments with existing communities.
Larkfleet estimates this fund could see it pay out £500,000 across Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire over the next five years.
One judge said they would like to see Larkfleet working in London, praising the firm’s commitment engagement as part of its growth aspirations.
The panel said: “Its commitment to, and passion for, research and development was disproportionately high for the size of the business. Through this, it has kept ahead of the competition and seems not only reputable and sustainable, but a company clients would like to work with.”
The company posted turnover of £49.8m in the year to 30 June 2015 and expects to hit £55m for the year to 30 June 2016.
Judges agreed it showed genuine passion for supporting local areas through its apprenticeship and graduate recruitment programmes, but also through its support for local colleges and sponsorship of the Greater Peterborough University Technical College.
However, it was the actions being taken, particularly in its approach to R&D, that backed up Larkfleet’s pledge to become the UK’s foremost sustainable housebuilder and saw it named the inaugural Construction News Housebuilder of the Year.
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