What attracted you to the home and Moreton Edge initially?
We found this development online and we were looking for the Moreton-in-Marsh area generally. At the time, all of the properties had been reserved, so we put our names down on the waiting list.
We didn’t expect we would get the offer of a plot, but Oliver Knight said it would be still worth us registering our interest.
It was June when Oliver contacted us and told us that one had become available. We jumped at the chance. To end up being the first people in was a real surprise.
We came from Beverley in Yorkshire, which is lovely but we, wanted a complete change. Mike had just retired, neither of us driving at the moment, so we wanted to come to a place where we had easy access to services.
Moreton-in-Marsh runs a bus service to surrounding villages. We are also close to Oxford and also 90 minutes from London Paddington on the train and there is a lovely high street full of all the shops you need. It’s also an area of outstanding natural beauty, so we have easy access to a lot of walks in the countryside – we’re surrounded by footpaths and routes.
Quality of the build?
We had a four-bedroom house before and we weren’t particularly looking for something of the same size. The three bedroom specification we saw was ideal, the dimensions of the room were big, and to us it seemed to work perfectly.
The house has a high-quality finish – we knew that was going to be the case from the moment we saw the brochure.
We came down to Moreton-in-Marsh in April 2021, because that was the earliest we could travel due to lockdown. It was a lovely week and we stayed in a cottage on the main street. We looked at the development from the outside and thought it looked really good.
It’s in a good location, and the Cotswold stone build is fantastic. It fits in ideally to town.
This is a lovely small development and we’re of the opinion there will be a great community here.
We love the house and we’re really very happy with it. The landscape is what we particularly wanted and our garden has a gorgeous view.
Hospital Road is a lovely road with a really nice mixture of properties on it, but the way Deeley has done the build with the tiles and Cotswold stone means it fits in perfectly.
We hope to be here for the long-term and feel really settled here.
Experience with Deeley Homes?
Deeley Homes tried to get the house ready for us as soon as they could. We had been living temporarily in an Air BnB for two months, after selling our existing house.
We expected there may be a few problems as it’s a building site and we would be the first ones in occupation, but the builders have been good. There are a few things which still need finishing but we understand that will take time, but it doesn’t stop us enjoying the house.
With Deeley Homes being a smaller developer that has made a big difference. Before we moved in we had correspondence with both Eleanor Deeley and Dean Weldon and found them both fine to work with.
It was even down to things like keeping the heating on for when we moved in and the welcome on arrival, little touches that make a big difference.
Poppy Meadows will enable over 55s in Didcot, Oxfordshire to live independently with access to an on-site care team.
The new Extra Care scheme hosted a successful launch event at the District Community Centre, just across the road from the development, with firm interest being shown by prospective residents.
Poppy Meadows will consist of 80 stylish one- and two-bedroom apartments with a care team available 24/7 offering tailored support for residents that need it.
The scheme is being delivered by Housing 21, a national leading provider of Retirement Living and Extra Care, in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, Midlands-based developer Deeley Construction and Vale of White Horse District, supported by the £2.4 million Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.
The development is currently being built and is anticipating opening their show apartment and marketing suite in August 2022.
Susan Wells, New Homes Sales Manager at Housing 21, said: “We’re very pleased with how the build is coming along, and it was great to meet with prospective residents at our launch event held at the local community centre. Now we’ll look forward to getting the show apartment ready to show future residents around in early August.”
Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director at Deeley Group, said: “It’s fantastic to hear of the excitement from prospective residents at what will be a state-of-the-art Extra Care scheme providing vital homes to people in Didcot.
“We’re proud to be continuing our strong partnership with Housing 21 on this development. Poppy Meadows is being delivered to the highest standard and we are certain that residents will love living here when it is completed.”
All apartments have been designed and are being built to high quality standards to provide fully accessible facilities for residents. Residents can expect quality fitted kitchens, level access showers and specialist flooring to reduce slip hazards, in addition to living in an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC C) status property.
There will also be a range of communal facilities including a residents’ lounge and gardens, as well as a café/bistro and an on-site hair salon that will be available for use by the wider local community too.
For more information about Poppy Meadows, visit www.housing21.org.uk.
While the three-storey, £5 million extension project funded by Coventry City Council continues for the Ernesford Grange secondary school – a stone’s throw away, there is a huge biodiversity project underway.
Coventry City Council understands the importance of enhancing the environment and included it in the planning requirements for the development. This led to Deeley working with Leamington-based Arbscape Tree Surgeons to create a safe haven for wildlife.
Colin Sheasby, of Arbscape Tree Surgeons, speaks about the biodiversity works in our latest blog.
This is the first time we have worked with the Deeley Group on a project and we were brought together by Coventry City Council.
As part of the original planning process, it was required for there to be an ecological survey of the site. Swift Ecology prepared the report and recommended work which could be completed to enhance the biodiversity of the site.
First of all, the report found that the main school site wasn’t large enough to provide the necessary space to create a habitat. As a result, we have been working not only on the main school site, but also the playing field, which is part of the school boundary, and land adjacent to that field.
We have been on site now since January and we’re making significant progress. One of the key tasks we have been working on is the creation of a 300 sqm ‘tiny forest’.
To create the forest, we have been planting a range of native species in a very small space, then leaving it to the environment to let it develop.
It has been lovely to be able to invite students from the school to help us in the planting of the forest – and the idea is that in the future it will be a great educational resource for pupils.
We have used the Miyawaki methodology to create the forest, which centres around planting two to four trees per square metre, and then the forest will be self-sustaining.
On the main school site, we have planted 21 new scattered trees and four trees to enhance an existing hedgerow, with a further seven new trees planted on the additional field. The focus of this biodiversity project was to ensure the species chosen are native or wildlife friendly – meaning they can provide pollen, fruit or seeds for wildlife which inhabit and occupy the area.
Existing trees in the area have had bird and bat boxes added to them to encourage more wildlife while we are also creating an invertebrate hotel and log pile to foster habitats for invertebrates, amphibians, and small mammals.
This is an exciting addition and will be a significant educational resource for both Riverbank Academy and Ernesford Grange Community Academy on the site.
We’re also working to create in total 7,000 sqm of wildflower meadow across the main school site and additional field. The main school site has had 2,200 sqm of wildflower meadow sown, including Yellow Rattle and Cornfield Annuals seed mix.
We are also scrub planting, adding new hedges and planting blossom trees. The work will significantly enhance the site and the biodiverse wildlife corridor that links it to existing natural habitats.
However, one important part of any biodiversity programme of works is to also rid the existing environment of any threats to its long-term health.
That has seen control measures introduced on invasive, non-native species. We’re working to rid the area of Himalayan Cotoneaster and control the Himalayan Balsam, and the measures will hopefully stop the species spreading further and on to the school site.
We’ll be finishing our works along the river by August and then the plan is to monitor and manage the area for the next three years.
We’re very optimistic that the ecological impact and impact for wildlife in the area will be huge, and it is hoped all the different features will become a habitat for everything from bats and badgers to invertebrates and birds to forage and nest.
The scheme in Dawley Road is scheduled to open in early 2024 and will offer residents a range of one- and two-bedroom apartments together with a variety of communal facilities.
The scheme is being delivered by Housing 21, a national leading provider of Retirement Living and Extra Care, in partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council and Midlands-based Deeley Construction.
Debbie Hope, Head of Development for Housing 21, commented: “There is a clear need for suitable housing for older people in Telford and we are hopeful that this is the first in a new pipeline of projects.
Telford and Wrekin Council was particularly supportive when getting this scheme in to contract and we will continue to work together to bring the property to life.
These apartments will provide a fantastic home for our future residents and will have a truly transformational impact for those people on a day-to-day basis.”
Housing 21 currently manage Heywood Lonsdale Court, a Retirement Living scheme in Wellington, but this new – as yet unnamed development will be their first Extra Care scheme in Telford.
Supported by a Homes England grant of £4.55m, the development will comprise of 20 one-bedroom and 50 two-bedroom apartments. Thirty of the two-bedroom apartments will be dedicated for social rent, with the remainder available for shared-ownership.
Future residents can look forward to benefitting from a range of communal facilities including a residents’ lounge, a café/bistro and communal gardens. The café/bistro and an on-site hair salon will also be available for use by the wider local community.
Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director at Deeley Group, said: “The development at Dawley Road marks the latest in our partnership with Housing 21, following other developments at Chipping Norton and Didcot.
“As a business we are targeting Net Zero status by 2036, therefore we’re excited to be working with Housing 21 on its first all-electric building which will help lower energy usage and reduce carbon emissions.
“As well as supporting Housing 21 with their Environmental and Sustainability targets we have the expertise in delivering innovative extra care facilities of this type and will be working with our partners to create a facility that caters for the housing needs of older people in Telford.”
CAPTION: CGI exterior image of the new scheme in Dawley Road, Telford
Midlands-based developer Deeley Construction, in partnership with Bird Group, has started work on-site.
The £730,000 development will create 12 full time and 12 part time jobs, with the facility expected to open to the public this Autumn.
Planning consent to create the new drive-thru on Shipston Road, adjacent to Rosebird Community Hall on land owned by Bird Group, was confirmed in February 2021.
Andy Bodily, Contracts Manager at Deeley Construction, said: “This new unit will be a welcome addition to the local area. It’s situated on one of the main routes into Stratford town centre and will prove very popular both with both cold and hot drink lovers wanting to quench their thirst as they pass through.
“We’ve enjoyed collaborating with The Bird Group on this community-focused project, which will not only enhance Stratford’s hospitality offering but also increase footfall at the retail park for years to come.
“Deeley Construction prides itself on adding real value to the assets of its clients, and the anticipated opening of the new Costa facility at the Rosebird Retail Park is testament to this.”
A multi-year lease has been signed with Costa for the new unit, which is to sit on the old Stratford-Banbury railway line, once used by the Allies during the Second World War to transport iron across the western front.
Tony Bird, Chief Executive at Bird Group, added: “The team has delivered an important development which will expand on the offering to shoppers at the Rosebird Centre and Retail Park.
“Creating new units for a range of end-users is our bread and butter, and this Costa will particularly stand out due to its unique structure, exemplified through the innovative roof imagined up by our architect.
“To have brought this forward from concept, through planning and delivery alongside our partners at Deeley Construction for the benefit of all involved, is really pleasing.
“We’ve been working on the Rosebird retail site for over a decade, fostering close relations with and investing in the neighbouring community hall. We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with them and working to improve the local amenities in place for the Stratford populace.”
CAPTION – (L to R) Tony Bird of Bird Group, Employer Agent Graham Hale, John Elliott of Bird Group and Andy Bodily of Deeley Construction
Jack McQuillan has been working for Deeley Construction for two years, starting with the firm at the age of 16.
In recent months Jack has completed work on his first scheme at Tiverton Road, a scheme of 39 affordable homes for Stonewater.
In our latest blog, he reflects on his development during the project and his first two years as a trainee site manager.
I can trace my time back with Deeley Construction to a brief work experience placement I did in school. Undertaking that work placement was one of the best decisions I have made.
While my family have always been involved and worked in construction, it wasn’t until I completed my placement at Deeley that I realised the variety of roles involved in a construction, development or property business.
From that week of experience, I worked with near enough every department in the firm. This included spending days on site, understanding the financial processes with the accounts team and getting a chance to speak with the management team too.
I felt after that placement I had a really good understanding of the company, so when the opportunity arose to join the business as a management trainee I jumped at the chance.
The management trainee role saw me given more chance to experience parts of the business, alongside my fellow trainee Tom Jeffrey. The office work was insightful, but for me it was the work on-site which appealed the most.
That led me to supporting Eamonn Gorman, site manager, on the Tiverton Road development for site manager. I had very limited experience of being on a construction site at this time, so to be supporting a multi-million-pound development at the age of 17 was a great chance to learn.
That’s where Deeley has really helped me to develop at such a quick pace. Over the course of the 18 months on-site at Tiverton Road, I improved in all aspects of work. I was given key tasks critical to the delivery of the project and it was my responsibility to ensure I had full knowledge of the job.
Like every job, there were hurdles to overcome and challenges to work through. The site team had to work hard and adapt, and it was interesting for me to see how important adaptability can be on site.
One of the big takeaways for me from that first project was the development of my people skills. You meet lots of different people in this business, people from different walks of life – and the way you deal with, for example, clients and the team on site is completely different.
I’ve now moved onto the Ernesford Grange & Riverbank Academy project, which is a completely different job. It’s a live-site with the school still open and we’re working with traditional steel frame rather than offsite manufactured timber frame houses.
However, the principles are still the same – it all comes down to communications and understanding how to work with and speak to different people.
Away from site, Deeley is giving myself and Tom plenty of opportunity to develop and gain important qualifications too.
We are studying at Rugby College and started out on a Level 3 course. Because of what we had been learning on the job and the experience we had, the tutors pushed us an academic year ahead.
Ahead of assessments, I’ve been able to compare my site management experience with Tom’s as a quantity surveyor. We’re now completing a HNC in Construction and the Built Environment and also studying for the HND.
To make sure we are getting the best results we can in our assessments, time management is crucial. It’s all about finding that balance, but it’s something I’ve took to and that time management skill is useful back on-site too.
I think I’m continuing to improve and develop on site, I’m still only 18 and it’s not common for people my age to be carrying out some of the roles I do.
We are a real family here at Deeley, you can see how far some of the trainees in the firm have gone and I’m hoping to go as high as I can.
For young people in schools and colleges, construction definitely needs to be better promoted as an industry to pursue a career in.
I was lucky that my career advisor pointed me in the direction of Deeley, due to the school’s links with the business.
If we can encourage more young people to come into construction that can only be a good thing for the industry. I’m only in the formative years of my career, but these first two years have been brilliant and I’m looking forward to continuing my development with the business.