Cala Group

CALA Homes given go ahead for Cults development

CALA Homes (North) has received approval from Aberdeen City Council for a residential development off Craigton Road in Cults.

The collection of 19 homes will also allow the completion of the new Friarsfield link road, a key piece of infrastructure for the local area set out in the Friarsfield Development Framework, set to greatly enhance connectivity and traffic flow in the popular area.

The proposed mix and style of properties has been carefully designed to be sympathetic to both older and newer homes in the area, complementing CALA’s previous developments in Cults, Hayfield Grange and Rosefield Gardens, and current development, Cults Park.

Careful consideration has also been given to the creation of suitable open space, tree retention and the layout of the site to blend with the surrounding landscape.

The development will see the creation of semi-detached and detached properties including two, three and five-bedroom homes.

Mike Naysmith, managing director of CALA Homes (North), said: “We are very pleased to have received approval for this site, which will see not only the creation of new homes for the area, but the delivery of a vital piece of infrastructure for Cults.

“We have extensive experience of creating homes in the locale, with several historic and current sites in Cults, all of which have been extremely popular. Our current development, Cults Park, is progressing very well and we expect to see similar interest in this new pocket of homes.

“We look forward to adding to our legacy in the area.”

CALA Homes chief executive Alan Brown announces retirement

Alan Brown

Alan Brown has announced his intention to retire as chief executive at CALA Homes after 32 years at the company.

Described by CALA’s Board as “instrumental” in driving the growth of the group, Mr Brown held a number of senior management and strategic roles in his time at the firm.

He trained as a chartered quantity surveyor and joined CALA in 1986 as development manager, progressing through the company before being appointed regional chairman for England in July 2006. Following the financial crisis of 2007/2008, Alan became group managing director before being appointed chief executive in September 2009.

Alan successfully led the group through the wider market downturn and oversaw the sale process from Lloyds Banking Group that secured the backing of L&G and Patron Capital in 2013 before delivering the acquisition and successful integration of Banner Homes in 2014.  More recently, Alan led the acquisition of the group by L&G which was announced on March 13, 2018.

Since becoming chief executive in 2009, CALA has made significant progress under Alan’s leadership and, over the last decade, has been the UK’s fastest growing major home builder, delivering record profits in each of the last five years. CALA achieved 5 stars for customer service for the first time in 2008.

A search for a new chief executive has begun. Alan will remain in his current role until the end of April, when Graham Reid, group finance director, will assume the position of Interim CEO, in order to ensure an orderly handover and transition to his successor.

Kerrigan Procter, chief executive officer of Legal & General Capital, said: “CALA has benefited greatly from Alan’s leadership over the last nine years as Chief Executive and we shall miss him. The group is much stronger and more resilient as a result of his direction and the Board is confident of achieving continued and sustainable profitable growth well into future.

“On behalf of the Board and all of his colleagues, I would like to thank Alan for his outstanding contribution to the development of CALA and wish him every success in whatever he decides to do next.”

Alan Brown said: “This was not an easy decision. I’ve spent nearly my entire career at CALA, working with a talented group of people to build the great business that it is today.

“When I took over as CEO, the company had significant challenges and as a team we’ve worked extremely hard to overcome those challenges and build a large and very successful business that now enjoys the long-term support of one of the UK’s blue chip companies.

“I have enjoyed working at CALA immensely and I would like to thank all my colleagues for their fantastic support. The Group is in great shape with exciting growth opportunities and now is the right time for me to hand over the reins to a successor to lead CALA into the next stage of its development.

“I will now be taking a short time out from corporate life in order to think about the sorts of roles and activities I wish to pursue in the next stage of my career.”

Scottish housebuilders celebrate five star ratings from HBF

Joanne Casey and Linda McLean of Mactaggart & Mickel Homes receiving their HBF Five Star award

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes and CALA Homes have achieved the maximum five star rating from the Home Builders Federation (HBF) following an independent customer satisfaction survey.

The HBF Star Rating Scheme awards builders stars for customer satisfaction, based on homeowner feedback in an independent survey. Now in its 12th year, the survey questions owners shortly after moving into new build properties to establish their satisfaction with the quality of their home and the buying experience.

Star ratings are calculated on the number of customers who would recommend the builder to friends, with a five star rating requiring 90% or above.

Family housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel has earned the prestigious rating for the sixth consecutive year.

Joanne Casey, director at Mactaggart & Mickel Homes, said: “We are immensely proud of this achievement, because it reflects what our customers think about the entire house buying process with us – before, during and after the purchase.

“This continued success is testament to the skill and commitment of all colleagues – everyone takes pride in delivering each and every home we build.”

CALA scored in excess of 93% to achieve the maximum five stars.

Alan Brown, chief executive for CALA, said: “CALA has built a longstanding reputation as an award-winning homebuilder, but this accolade is particularly meaningful as it comes as a direct result of positive feedback from our customers. It also follows a year of record growth for CALA, with more than 1600 homes sold across the UK, an increase of 46 per cent from last year.

“Being a five-star homebuilder requires the commitment of the whole team from across the business. From land purchase right through to the final completion and beyond, every department is responsible for delivering an exceptional experience and superior product to our customers. The five-star rating is testament to the passion and hard work of everyone at CALA.”

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, added: “Achieving high levels of customer satisfaction is hugely challenging. It requires leadership from Board level downwards and commitment from all areas of a house building business and is a credit to every member of staff. A five star rating is not easy to achieve and is a very positive endorsement of the processes, systems and culture in place and should provide customers with real confidence in the company and homes they build.”

CALA breaks ground at Milton of Campsie

CALA Homes (West) has commenced a new housing development at Birdston Road on the southern edge of Milton of Campsie.

The Fin Glen development – which comprises 43 detached homes – will be constructed to complement the area’s existing features on a 3.2 hectare site to the north of Lillyburn Nursing Home.

It follows a positive planning decision from East Dunbartonshire Council in November last year after the site was allocated for residential development within the adopted Local Development Plan.

The collection of homes will be designed to CALA’s new Light & Space specifications and will range from four-bedroom properties at 1,439 sq ft to five-bedroom properties spanning 2,225 sq ft, all of which will enjoy generous garden space.

Across the development, three areas of open space will be created, presenting a series of ‘pocket parks’ and links into the core path network, while fresh tree planting will take place, bringing to life a carefully considered new community within the town.

Community benefits that are set to result from the development include a new play area incorporated within the development, and footpath links to the wider area. A financial contribution is also being made to East Dunbartonshire Council towards education.

A further 14 affordable homes are also to be developed at Fin Glen, which will be built by CALA and managed by Link Housing Association.

Graham McNeil, land director for CALA Homes (West), said: “The Fin Glen development is a key part of our activity in 2018 and we’re very pleased to be starting work on the development.

“We’re also delighted to be introducing our new Light & Space range to Milton of Campsie, with its high spec design offering the best in contemporary living.

“We believe that the site’s natural containment and great accessibility will help make Fin Glen a very attractive place to live, while our track record of successfully delivering high quality neighbourhoods in East Dunbartonshire, including Bearsden and Lenzie, makes us a good fit for realising the site’s fantastic potential.

“Once completed, these luxury homes will benefit from Milton of Campsie’s beautiful scenery, stunning countryside, and easy access to Glasgow, allowing residents to enjoy a great mix of countryside and rural living.”

Graham added: “CALA is committed to delivering sustainable developments, maximising the use of land and natural resources while minimising impacts on the environment – and we are certain that our Fin Glen homes will blend seamlessly into the existing community.”

The Fin Glen showhome is due to be completed by autumn 2018 with completion of the development scheduled for 2020.

Legal & General acquires full ownership of CALA Homes

Legal & General Capital has taken full ownership of CALA Homes in a deal that values the housebuilder at £605 million.

The insurance and investment group has paid £315m to Patron Capital Partners to acquire the 52.1% of CALA it did not previously own

Legal & General said the business has performed strongly under its joint ownership with Patron Capital Partners, with revenues growing threefold from £241m in 2013 to £748m in 2017, and profits growing at a CAGR of 12% over the last three years.

CALA Homes had attractive growth prospects under its continued ownership based on Legal & General Capital’s long term approach to investing and the attractive market for housebuilding, the firm added

Kerrigan Procter, chief executive officer of Legal & General Capital, said: “Legal & General is delighted to assume full ownership of CALA Homes, a growing business which we know and understand well.  It has a strong management team with proven experience of managing a housebuilding business across business cycles, and has delivered great returns for shareholders since its acquisition in 2013, having tripled in revenue during this time.  I am excited to be working with the team as CALA Homes continues to develop and grow under our continued ownership.

“Legal & General has valued the contributions of Patron over the past years and is pleased to have successfully grown the business together.”

Alan Brown

Alan Brown, chief executive of CALA Homes, added: “Today’s investment by Legal & General marks the start of another exciting new chapter for CALA Homes and is a fantastic endorsement of our growth potential from one of the UK’s most highly-respected, blue-chip investors who shares our long-term vision.

“Over the past five years we have become one of the UK’s fastest growing housebuilders and this is testament to the strength and ambition of our team, the quality of our homes and our approach to customer service. We have also benefitted from the ongoing backing of our shareholders and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Patron for their support alongside Legal & General.”

CALA Homes is focused on “high quality family housing” having completed 1,677 sites in 2017.

Around 1,322 private homes were sold at an average price of £497,000, with more than 60% of profits coming from English regions and the remainder from Scotland.

It said 21% of its units were affordable homes.

Keith Breslauer, managing director of Patron Capital, said: “With the combined resources of Patron and Legal & General, we have worked successfully with the management team to support the growth of the business and consolidate CALA Homes’ position in the market. Over the last five years, CALA Homes has expanded significantly, growing twofold the annual volume of homes sold and fourfold the operating profits, delivering on the business plan set out at the time of Patron and Legal & General’s acquisition.

“Patron wishes to thank the CALA management for delivering on the plan and Legal & General for its support of the investment; we are confident that the business will continue to grow and thrive under Legal & General’s ownership. Patron remains committed to the UK residential sector with our extensive investment activities in this area.”

Mark Farmer, chief executive of Cast, a property and construction consultancy, said the deal was good for the whole industry.

“Legal & General’s move to takeover over Cala in its entirety is encouraging for the entire sector, as an injection of large scale fresh capital combined with L&G’s much broader strategic ambitions to tackle the UK housing crisis on a number of fronts can only be a good thing,” he said.

“At a time of increasing uncertainty for the construction sector, acquisitions like this provide the strong and decisive leadership needed to address the industry’s many shortfalls. As the capacity of the homebuilding industry continues to be challenged by skills shortages and Brexit-related risks in the movement of labour, the industry must think of novel and innovative ways to deliver more housing across all tenures to a high quality and also to deliver associated vital infrastructure projects.

“Personally, I am certain that this move will be a positive for an under pressure homebuilding sector being increasingly scrutinised for poor corporate governance, land banking, and its reliance on tax payer funded Help to Buy.”

Planning granted for first homes at new Aberdeen development

A typical CALA street scene

CALA Homes has been granted detailed planning permission to begin work on a brand new community at Craibstone in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen City Council has given the green light for the project’s first phase of 114 properties.

The housebuilder plans to grow the development into a community of around 700 homes which would also include commercial space and a neighbourhood centre.

The first phase of homes will comprise detached, semi-detached and terraced properties as well as apartments, all completed to CALA’s exacting standards.

Mike Naysmith, managing director of CALA Homes (North), said: “We are delighted to move forward with our plans for what is set to be a truly unique community.

“The homes at Craibstone will benefit from outstanding scenery with an abundance of natural beauty surrounding the development, as well as an impressive tree lined entrance which will give an exclusive feel to the community.

“While located within a rural, woodland setting, Craibstone also boasts unrivalled access to the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, AECC and airport.

“We look forward to bringing Craibstone to life over the coming months and adding this exciting new development to our portfolio.”

Campaigners lose legal battle to prevent Jordanhill campus housing development

Residents campaigning against plans to deliver more than 400 homes on the University of Strathclyde’s former Jordanhill campus have lost their legal action to stop the proposal at the Court of Session.

CALA Homes (West) gained planning permission from Glasgow City Council to develop the 31-acre in January 2017, though Jordanhill Community Council members had hoped to overturn the decision.

The opponents claimed that the £100 million development will strain local infrastructure and leave too little green space. They also argued that the council failed to follow correct legal procedures.

The campaigners said that “significant changes” had been made to the plans between 2011 and 2017, and that the developer could not deliver the amount of green space originally promised.

The council’s legal team, however, said the amount of protected green space had not changed.

Judge Lady Wolffe concluded on Wednesday that Glasgow City Council had acted correctly and dismissed the case.

Jim McIntyre, managing director of CALA Homes (West), said: “We are pleased to take another step forward with our plans to build one of Glasgow’s most desirable residential developments on the legacy of Jordanhill Campus.

“As has been the case since we began this process, we are committed to sympathetically enhancing a community asset and improving existing green space on the site, while creating jobs and meeting demand for high quality housing in the city.”

Glasgow Warriors help top out CALA housing development

CALA Homes (West) hit an important construction milestone as its 21 Mansionhouse Road development in Glasgow reached its full height of 12 metres.

The moment was marked with a traditional topping out ceremony, helped along by a trio of the city’s tallest stars from Glasgow Warriors.

Led by senior land manager Andrew Duncan and site manager Colin McCarney, the Glasgow Warrior players donned their hard hats and took to the top of the first apartment building to be completed to celebrate the creation of this thriving new community.

A 40-strong construction team has already clocked up 64,500 hours in creating 21 Mansionhouse Road in the Southside suburb of Langside, which consists of 101 one, two and three bedroom apartments which also include a suite of penthouses featuring some spectacular views over the city.

Ratu Taigve, Samu Vunisa and Brian Alainu’use from the premier Glasgow Warriors rugby team – of which, CALA Homes (West) is an official sponsor and charity partner supporting its youth camps – became the first to stand on top of the completed building and took their ball to make a lucky try whilst they were up there.

Andrew Duncan said: “We were delighted to welcome the Glasgow Warriors players to 21 Mansionhouse Road to mark the Topping Out of our first building at the development. A huge amount of hard work has got us to this stage and it’s at a point now the development will really start to come to life.

“21 Mansionhouse Road embodies the commitment to architectural excellence and a high specification product for our homebuyers, who really have something special here at Langside. I would like to extend my thanks to the construction team for their hard work so far and to Glasgow Warriors for helping to mark this milestone.”

Bishopbriggs housing decision overturned on appeal

CALA Homes (West) has welcomed a Notice of Intention to allow an appeal and grant permission on its proposed development at Meadowburn, Bishopbriggs.

The decision from the Planning and Environment Appeals Division (DPEA) means that East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning board’s original decision to reject plans for 136 homes has been overturned.

Determination has been deferred for a period of 13 weeks to allow for the relevant Planning Agreement to be completed.

CALA said the new development will provide much-needed housing in the area, including the creation of a sensitively designed new neighbourhood with a strong connection to the canal-side setting.

The planning agreement includes a requirement for a Section 75 legal agreement to secure local road junction improvements, an improved footpath along the canal on the development side, on-site affordable housing, monies towards secondary school education, a financial contribution towards the A803 corridor works and a contribution towards sports and recreation.

Graham McNeil, land director for CALA Homes (West), said: “We are pleased with this positive decision from the Scottish Government. We look forward to working with East Dunbartonshire Council on progressing a development that will bring with it many community benefits.”

As part of the plans, 36 affordable homes will be delivered which will help to meet local demand for much needed affordable homes. These will be delivered in two phases with a key phase built in the early stages of development.

In addition to a new village green featuring children’s play space and associated play equipment, there will also be a linear green corridor adjacent to the canal-side in order to maintain, encourage and further promote wildlife and ecological diversity in and around the canal edge.

A diverse selection of housetypes, ranging from one bedroom apartments through to five bedroom family homes, is set to be built on the brownfield site, which had already been allocated for housing within the adopted East Dunbartonshire Local Plan and the approved Local Development Plan.

Mr McNeil added: “We are confident that our proposals will provide high quality housing for families in the town, and will also help to boost the local economy.”

CALA Homes (West)’s £15,000 scheme to support local causes

Local charities, schools and good causes across the West of Scotland could receive a share of £15,000 thanks to the CALA Homes Community Bursary being launched this week.

Now in its second year, the scheme aims to provide support for a wide range of organisations and projects. In 2017, 118 good causes across the country received a share of more than £100,000.

Jim McIntyre, managing director for CALA Homes (West), said: “CALA has always been committed to making a positive and lasting contribution to the communities in which it builds, through an active programme of local charity donations, community support and sponsorship. The community bursary scheme gives us the chance to find out exactly what support is needed locally and provides the opportunity for charities and groups of all sizes to apply for funds.”

The £15,000 fund will be split into three £5,000 pots spanning Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire.

Jim added: “More than 20 charities across the West of Scotland benefitted from the community bursary scheme last year, with donations, made for projects ranging from East Kilbride Men’s Shed to Seagull Trust Cruises in Kirkintilloch. We’re looking forward to hearing from more local charities this year about the great work they do and how CALA can get involved.”

Building Futures, a female-led construction social enterprise, received a grant of £1,000 last year

One local Glasgow charity that received bursary funds last year was Building Futures. Shalinay Raghavan from the organisation said: “We were over the moon to have been selected out of so many amazing applicants.  The money we received will make a huge difference to the women we already support, and help even more disadvantaged women in Scotland to upskill and explore opportunities in construction.”

You can apply for a share of the community bursary by downloading an application form from the CALA website at www.cala.co.uk/bursary.

The closing deadline for entries is March 23.