McCarthy & Stone

More housebuilders celebrate five star ratings

McCarthy & Stone’s Beacon Court in Anstruther

McCarthy & Stone and Barratt Developments in Scotland are the latest housebuilders to 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 13th 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.

McCarthy & Stone’s Scotland team is celebrating after the retirement housebuilder achieved the five star customer satisfaction rating for a record thirteenth consecutive year. McCarthy & Stone is the only housebuilder of any size or type to achieve this award for thirteen years running.

McCarthy & Stone achieved a combined customer satisfaction score of 93.5%, while over 90 individual McCarthy & Stone developments received a 100% customer satisfaction score from its homeowners. Of those developments, 11 were in Scotland; including Scholar’s Gate in St Andrews, Beeches Gate in Aberdeen, Templars Court in Linlithgow, Ashwood Court in Paisley, The Sycamores in Kinross, Conachar Bank in Perth, The Pines in Alloway, Campsie Grove in Bishopbriggs, The Hailes in Haddington, Beacon Court in Anstruther and Tantallon Court in North Berwick.

Lorraine Paterson, regional sales and marketing director for McCarthy & Stone in Scotland, attributed the success to a ‘culture of customer care’ within the business.

She said: “At McCarthy & Stone, everything we do starts with quality in mind. This includes the choice of locations, the thoughtful layouts of our apartments, our approach to construction and our in-house management services teams who support our customers after they move and help them to settle in.

“Five-star service is an integral part of our culture and we are continually striving to improve. We would also like to thank our customers for taking the time to pass on their feedback to the HBF.”

Barratt Developments in Scotland, which includes both Barratt and David Wilson Homes, is currently the only major national housebuilder to be rated as five star for nine years in a row, having first been awarded the accolade back in 2010. With 2018 also being the 60th anniversary year for Barratt Homes, the new five star rating award is a double celebration for the housebuilder.

Douglas McLeod, regional managing director for Barratt Developments in Scotland, said: “The fact that 90% of our customers would recommend us to a friend is testament to the effort we invest to make sure our customers enjoy the best possible experience when buying a Barratt or David Wilson Home.

“Being independently rated as a five star builder is a great endorsement of our approach, particularly as we the only major national housebuilder to have five stars for nine years in a row. To us this is the most important industry award which is why we put so much effort into building high quality homes and nurturing trusted relationships with our customers.”

Miller Homes has achieved five stars for the sixth time in seven years, family housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Homes has earned the prestigious rating for the sixth consecutive year, while CALA Homes scored in excess of 93% to achieve the maximum rating.

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

Building industry and planners set to give Planning Bill evidence

Holyrood’s local government and communities committee will continue to examine the Planning (Scotland) Bill tomorrow as it hears evidence from organisations from the country’s builders and planners.

Tammy Swift-Adams, director of planning, Homes for Scotland, Jenny Hogan, deputy chief executive, Scottish Renewables, Gordon Nelson, director, Federation of Master Builders Scotland, Sarah Boyack, head of public affairs, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Jonathan Fair, regional managing director – Scotland, McCarthy and Stone will all give evidence to the committee as the proposed Bill is put to the test.

MSPs will then hear from Kate Houghton, policy and practice officer, RTPI Scotland, Malcolm Fraser, consultant architect, Professor Cliff Hague, emeritus professor of planning and spatial development, Heriot-Watt University and Stuart Tait, manager, and Dorothy McDonald, assistant manager, Clydeplan.

Local government and communities committee convener, Bob Doris MSP, said: “The entire purpose of these proposed changes is to strengthen the planning system and boost its contribution to inclusive growth, housing and infrastructure in Scotland.

“The Bill also aims to empower people to have their say on their places more than ever before, so that communities can influence development plans in their local areas.

“Our Committee now wants to find out whether the Bill will deliver an improved planning system and if so, should any improvements and changes be made to the Bill so that Scotland can develop a world-class approach to planning its cities, towns and rural areas in the future.”

A link to the papers is available here and you can watch the sessions online tomorrow via

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.