McCarthy & Stone

McCarthy & Stone appoints divisional MD for Scotland

mccarthy_stone_logoRetirement house-builder McCarthy & Stone has named Ian Wilkins as its new North divisional MD, covering the North West, North East and Scotland, as part of the company’s new operational structure.

Currently regional MD for the North West, Wilkins joined McCarthy & Stone in September 2015 from Stewart Milne Homes and will take up his new post from January 1.

Brendon O’Neill, currently regional MD for the South East, becomes the company’s South divisional MD covering the company’s Southern, South East and North London regions. O’Neill joined McCarthy & Stone in March 2017 from Bovis.

Both Wilkins and O’Neill will report to chief operating officer John Tonkiss.

As part of this new structure, Darren Humphreys was appointed Central divisional managing director in June 2017, covering the East Midlands, West Midlands and South West regions.

Chief executive Clive Fenton said: “These appointments will support our growth objectives to establish a business capable of building and selling more than 3,000 units per year. The move to a divisional structure reflects the investment we are putting in place to run an efficient business at scale and will allow us to capitalise on the substantial growth opportunities in retirement housing.

“With significant talent in our company, I am delighted that we have been able to recruit internally for the roles. Both Ian and Brendon are excellent operators with a wealth of industry experience and I am pleased to see them take on responsibility for managing our regional businesses. They have made an excellent contribution to the company since joining and these promotions reflect the success achieved in their respective regions.”

Prestwick assisted living development wins planning approval

Prestwick extra careMcCarthy & Stone has secured planning permission for an assisted living development at Links Road in Prestwick.

Designed by Holmes Miller, the four storey building contains 69 independent living flats with common facilities including dining and kitchen.

Prestwick extra care 3Former children’s cancer home Malcolm Sargent House will be demolished to make way for the development.

The seafront scheme aims to enable residents to remain living in the local community by offering residents additional support and companionship.

Prestwick extra care 2Douglas Jack, the residential lead at Holmes Miller, said: “This is a fabulous site with views west across the Firth of Clyde with the silhouette of Arran in the background, and north and east to the beautiful Prestwick golf course. We have designed an outward facing bookend to the Prestwick seafront, with generous windows and balconies opening to both views.  Great to see the planning permission granted.”

Seasoned industry figure unveiled as next McCarthy & Stone chairman

Paul Lester

Paul Lester

Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone has appointed former Balfour Beatty boss Paul Lester as chairman designate to succeed John White.

Lester will join the group’s board in January 2018 and will succeed the retiring White who has been in post since 2013.

Currently chairman of Essentra and Forterra and formerly a director of Invensys, Lester was previously group managing director of Balfour Beatty before becoming chief executive of support services company VT Group PLC in 2002. He was also chairman of John Laing Infrastructure Fund until September this year.

“We are very pleased that Paul will be joining the McCarthy & Stone board and succeeding me as chairman,” said John White.

“McCarthy & Stone is a great business and I am proud to have served on the board during a transformational period for the company, culminating in its successful IPO in 2015.

“While market uncertainty following recent political events has acted as a stern test for our business model, I am pleased that our high-quality product and excellent team led by Clive Fenton have proved McCarthy & Stone’s resilience.

“The company remains uniquely-placed to capitalise on the substantial growth opportunity in retirement housing, driven by a rapidly ageing population in the UK, and the team can look to the future with confidence. I am pleased to be handing over to someone of Paul’s standing and experience and I am certain that he will make a major contribution to McCarthy & Stone.”

Lester added: “This is a very exciting time for McCarthy & Stone and I look forward to supporting Clive Fenton and his team in developing the company’s strategy and performance still further.”

Plans submitted for Prestwick care home

Prestwick extra careRetirement home builder McCarthy & Stone is seeking planning permission for a 69-apartment extra care accommodation block in Prestwick.

Under the plans, former children’s cancer home Malcolm Sargent House will be demolished to make way for the development.

Designed by Holmes Miller to cater for the frail elderly, the seafront scheme aims to enable residents to remain living in the local community by offering residents additional support and companionship.

Prestwick extra care 2The application follows a three month consultation with local residents and community representatives earlier this year, including a public exhibition which was attended by 54 people. Of those providing feedback, over half (54%) supported the proposal, while 89% felt more specialist accommodation for elderly people was needed locally.

As a direct result of the consultation McCarthy & Stone made several changes to the application. This includes a more traditional finish, with the predominant material now being cast stone and light coloured render. Some brick will be retained to create feature panels. The north-west corner of the building has been made bolder by adding a raised parapet and wraparound corner feature balconies.

In response to concerns about the proximity of the neighbouring golf course, the layout of the building has been changed from an L to a T shape to safeguard the proposed development and Golf Club from exposure to any errant golf shots. A new landscaped area has been created as a result, increasing the amenity space and visual aesthetics of the development.

Prestwick extra care 3Russ Stewart, development director of McCarthy & Stone in Scotland, said: “We’ve addressed comments raised at the consultation and have made changes to the proposal as a direct result of feedback.

“The proposed development provides a fantastic opportunity for a high quality development, in a highly sustainable location, which will cater for the changing needs of Ayrshire’s elderly population and provide a substantial investment into the local economy. It is pleasing that the proposed Extra Care facility will maintain the historical care use established on site and provide wider social and health benefits to residents and the community.

“We have aimed to make the best use of the site and maximise amenity space, while protecting the neighbouring properties through the positioning of the building, windows and balconies, which ensures there is no direct overlooking of the adjacent townhouses.

“McCarthy & Stone is committed to consulting with the local community and we would like to thank everyone who attended the consultation events and gave us their views.”

McCarthy & Stone appoints new chief operating officer

mccarthy_stone_logoRetirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone has appointed John Tonkiss as its group chief operating officer with effect from 1 June.

Tonkiss, who was previously national operations director at the group, joined McCarthy in February 2014.

Before that, he worked for student accommodation provider Unite Group for 10 years, becoming group CFO in 2008.

Chief executive officer Clive Fenton said: “We are delighted to announce John’s appointment to the role of Chief Operating Officer. John has made an excellent contribution to the group since joining us in 2014 and becoming a main board director in 2015. He has driven our three key initiatives to shorten our working capital cycle and these have had a significant and positive impact on our overall efficiency programme as we seek to deliver our strategic growth targets.”

Scottish housebuilders achieve 5 star customer satisfaction rating

The Hailes in Haddington by McCarthy & Stone

The Hailes in Haddington by McCarthy & Stone

Stewart Milne Homes, Barratt Developments in Scotland and the Scotland team at McCarthy & Stone are celebrating after achieving 5 star ratings in the new Home Builders Federation (HBF) customer satisfaction survey 2017.

The prestigious independent industry accolade recognises companies who achieve over 90% customer satisfaction ratings customers who purchased a home in the last year.

One of only five large housebuilders (building over 750 units per annum) and the only major housebuilder head-quartered in Scotland to be awarded the status this year, Stewart Milne Homes said its continued commitment to customers, the creation of award winning developments, the design, detail and individuality of homes and aftercare service has led to the achievement.

Glenn Allison, chief executive of Stewart Milne Group, said: “This award recognises the company-wide effort in the planning, construction, marketing and sales of our homes in Scotland and England. But more importantly, it provides an independent assurance on the quality of our homes and the service we provide to home buyers.

“We have worked extremely hard to achieve our five star status and we are proud to have been awarded this accolade, especially as it comes from our customers views. We will continue to deliver quality homes backed up by exceptional customer service.”

The award for Barratt Developments in Scotland, which includes both Barratt and David Wilson Homes, means that Barratt now becomes the only major national housebuilder to be accredited as a 5 star builder for eight years in a row.

Barratt Developments in Scotland said it continually puts customers at the heart of everything it does by building high quality homes with great design that create strong communities. Coupled with the focus on looking after customers after they have moved in, it is this which has helped achieve such high customer recommendation scores.

Douglas McLeod, regional managing director for Barratt Developments in Scotland, said: “We are extremely proud to achieve the 5 star rating for eight years in a row as it means more than 90% of our customers would recommend our homes to a friend. The customer recommendation scores come from building high quality homes and then really looking after our customers once they have moved in.

“Quality is so important to us there are over 400 items that are individually checked before the keys to a Barratt home are handed over to a customer. We try to work harder than anyone else when it comes to looking after our customers, and this comes out in the survey’s results.”

Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone becomes the only housebuilder of any size or type to achieve the award for twelve years running, which is every year since the awards began.

According to the firm, the award recognises its commitment to delivering excellent customer service across the business, with particular emphasis on the developer’s commitment to guiding home buyers through the purchasing process, including the provision of post-sales support.

Lorraine Paterson, sales and marketing director at McCarthy & Stone in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to receive the HBF Customer Service award for a twelfth consecutive year, and that so many of our homeowners say they would happily recommend us to their friends and family. We would like to thank all of our customers who completed the survey.

“We believe this is testimony to the quality and attention to detail that goes into the service we provide, and all of our developments. This is a fantastic achievement and thanks must also go to our committed teams across the regions who provide excellent service day in day out to deliver attractive, high-quality developments across the UK.”

The HBF star rating scheme awards builders stars for customer satisfaction. The number of stars awarded is based on the homeowner feedback in an independent National New Homes Survey of customer satisfaction, conducted by the National House-Building Council (NHBC). The survey is designed to provide home buyers with information about house builders to help guide their purchasing decisions, and to encourage excellent levels of service across the industry.

The criteria for 5 star ratings are: 91% or more of homeowners must be prepared to recommend their house builder to a friend.

The survey covered the year to the end of September 2016, is entirely independent of any house builder or house builder group and is independently validated by Reading University.

The survey is one of the largest of its type undertaken in the UK. This year over 90,000 surveys were sent out, an increase of 61% on three years ago reflecting the significant increase in the number of homes being built.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “The Customer Satisfaction and Star Rating Scheme is an accepted, robust and independently assessed measure of customer service. Achieving the highest levels of satisfaction is a huge challenge that requires commitment from everyone in an organisation from top to bottom. To do so whilst increasing output, to help address our acute housing shortage, is especially commendable.”

For a full list of the customer recommendation scores from every participating homebuilder, click here.

Work to start on new homes at historic Inverness College site

MidmillsThe demolition of all non-listed buildings at the Inverness College site at Midmills in the city centre is to begin next month to make way for more than 80 retirement homes.

Retirement home provider McCarthy & Stone, which acquired the site from Highland Council, will build 45 homes on the vacant site, with the local authority delivering 40 affordable retirement homes.

It’s estimated that 150 jobs will be created as a result of construction starting.

The remaining building on the site, the historic and listed Inverness Royal Academy, will be converted by Wasps Studios into a studio and art gallery for local artists.

The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has been working with the Scottish Funding Council and Inverness College to deliver best value and secure the most appropriate end use for the Midmills site that became surplus when the College relocated to its new, state-of-the-art facility on the Beechwood Campus in 2015.

Anna Tozer, strategic disposals manager at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “Our role is to work with public sector bodies to help them sell sites in ways that not only deliver receipts to be reinvested in public services, but also secures the otherwise uncertain future of significant listed buildings.

“We’ve secured a very positive outcome for this site which ensures much-needed retirement homes will be built. Securing the architecturally significant Inverness Royal Academy building for the local community to use and enjoy as an art facility is a real bonus, helping safeguard its future.”

McCarthy & Stone appoints Jonathan Fair to boost Scottish office

Jonathan Fair and Lorraine Paterson

Jonathan Fair and Lorraine Paterson

Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone has appointed Jonathan Fair as its new managing director and Lorraine Paterson as its sales & marketing director to boost its Scottish office.

Jonathan has considerable experience in the housebuilding sector having been managing director for Central Scotland at Stewart Milne Homes since 2012, and was previously chief executive for Homes for Scotland for almost five years.

Based at McCarthy & Stone’s Scottish headquarters in Glasgow, he will take full responsibility for implementing the Group’s growth programme in Scotland, including managing its share of McCarthy & Stone’s £2.5 billion investment in land and build over the four years to 2019 as well as planning, design and sales.

The investment programme is the largest ever of its kind in the UK’s retirement housing sector.

Lorraine Paterson also has a wealth of expertise in the sector, having also previously worked at Stewart Milne Homes in Central Scotland, where she had been sales & marketing director since 2014, and has similar experience from a wide variety of residential, mixed-use and commercial developments.

Clive Fenton, McCarthy & Stone’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome both Jonathan and Lorraine to McCarthy & Stone. Jonathan is one of the industry’s most experienced housebuilders and will help us deliver our strategic objective of doubling in size by 2019 to meet the unprecedented demand for retirement housing in Scotland, while continuing to deliver a Five Star standard of customer service.

“We are also pleased to welcome Lorraine, whose experience will be a great asset to our Scottish business and together with the rest of our team in Glasgow they will help bring to market our exciting pipeline of developments across many of Scotland’s most desirable locations.”

Lorraine joined McCarthy & Stone on January 4 and Jonathan started on January 9.

McCarthy & Stone unveils strong growth since floatation

John White

John White

Retirement home builder McCarthy & Stone enjoyed strong growth in sales in the six months to the end of February.

The first set of results since the group’s floatation in November saw revenue up 33 per cent to £250.2 million, but pre-tax profit was slightly down from £29.1m to £29m.

McCarthy & Stone saw legal completions up 19 per cent from 776 to 923 with net average selling price rising 12 per cent to £253,000.

The company, which entered the FTSE 250 last month, has seen a strong start to second half of its year with its forward order book up 26 per cent to around £306m. It is on course to meet its target of building 3,000 units a year by 2019, up from fewer than 2,000 last year.

Group chairman John White said: “The group has made strong progress in the period with its strategy of investment to create an efficient and scalable business capable of building and selling more than 3,000 units per annum.

“As a result of our strong performance since listing, I am pleased to be able to announce an interim dividend of 1p per share which will be paid on May 31 to holders of ordinary shares on the register at the close of business on April 29.”

Chief executive Clive Fenton added: “The UK’s population is maturing at a fast rate, but continues to suffer from a chronic undersupply of suitable retirement properties of the type we provide.  McCarthy & Stone is uniquely placed to capitalise on this opportunity.

“Our land bank now includes sufficient land with full planning consent to deliver all targeted sales to 2017, and sufficient land under control to deliver all targeted sales to 2019.  In the first half, we have put in place the regional infrastructure and management capability necessary to help deliver these sales, which gives us confidence in the progress we are making in achieving our strategic objective of building and selling more than 3,000 units per annum.

“We are also starting to see tangible benefits from our three strategic initiatives focusing on improving sales rates, reducing time taken between securing land and starting build and implementing build programme efficiencies, reflected in the acceleration of our capital cycle, and we continue to target ROCE [return on capital employed] of at least 25 per cent over the medium term.”

Scotland ‘not building enough retirement housing’

mccarthy_stone_logoA housebuilder is calling on political parties to increase the provision of retirement housing to meet the needs of Scotland’s ageing population.

McCarthy & Stone said encouraging specialised retirement housing for homeowners would result in a triple win for government by improving the lives of older people; removing pressure on health and social care budgets as well as stimulating the local housing market and economy.

According to the housebuilder, people aged 65 and over are estimated to increase by 59 per cent over the next two decades from 0.93 million to 1.47 million, which will be 1 in 4 of all Scots. Those living beyond 75 will almost double to 0.8 million by 2039.

But there are only around 36,000 sheltered and very sheltered houses with just 10 per cent of these provided by the private sector.

And Scottish Government statistics show public sector sheltered homes are declining from around 35,000 in the late 1990s to just 31,200 in 2013.

The majority, 76 per cent, of older people are homeowners and wish to remain so for as long as possible. Research shows that one in four over 60s would be interested in buying a retirement property, but there is an under supply in availability.

As a result, most older people are trapped in oversized properties which are difficult to heat, expensive to maintain and often unsuitable for their care needs.

McCarthy & Stone argues that building more retirement accommodation, particularly for homeowners, would add to the housing options available for older people and release larger homes onto the housing market for families and other house buyers.

Importantly, it would help relieve pressure on health and social care spending, which is expected to rise to nearly £8 billion by 2031 – around 10 per cent of the total Scottish Government budget.

The firm is calling on political parties to include the following in their manifestos

  1. Require local authorities to develop policies to support retirement housing across all types and tenures in local plans and carry out more thorough analysis of older people’s housing in Housing Needs Demand Assessments
  2. Strengthen Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) to place greater emphasis on meeting the needs of our ageing population and encourage private sector development to address the serious shortfall in retirement housing
  3. Add greater clarity in the SPP regarding retirement housing’s exemption from affordable housing contributions
  4. Require local authorities to identify suitable sites for retirement accommodation within local plans
  5. Request local authorities to monitor the number of private, as well as public, sheltered and very sheltered homes being delivered in their local area via quarterly and annual returns.

The housebuilder said: “At a time of unprecedented demographic change, it is vital that new housing supply recognises the needs of our ageing population.

“We support the delivery of new well-located, high-quality and well-managed specialist retirement housing across different types and tenures to help address a growing demand for this form of accommodation.”