Thursday, 30 March 2017

RICS launches pledge to tackle homelessness

At Larkfleet, we are always encouraged by new initiatives that aim to solve the current housing issue in the country so the latest campaign by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has caught our eye.

RICS recently launched an anti-homelessness campaign – known as ‘A Home for Cathy’ – to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach's seminal film ‘Cathy Come Home’ (an influential film which ignited a debate about homelessness at the time).
Many leading organisations have since backed the campaign including the Homes for Cathy Group – a national alliance of housing associations based across the UK – LandAid and Crisis.
RICS is now calling on firms in the wider property sector, as well as policy makers and advocates for change, to pledge support for its anti-homelessness campaign.
In doing so, those that pledge can have their say on what solutions will help the industry end rising homelessness and deliver more affordable homes.
These ‘solutions’ will help form a manifesto of recommendations for governments across the UK on how the land, property and construction sectors should collaborate better to end rising homelessness.
At worst, homelessness can mean sleeping rough on the streets and there is a growing number of rough sleepers across the UK – including Wales, Scotland and Northern – but particularly in England. In 2016 government statistics showed that 4,134 people slept rough on any one night across England – this is over double the number counted in 2010.

To add to this, recent market research by RICS revealed the UK faces a 1.8 million shortfall of rental properties by 2025. Over the next five years rents are predicted to rise by 25 per cent followed by house prices at around 18 per cent.
Former RICS President, Michael Newey, Chief Executive at Broadland Housing (part of the Homes for Cathy Group) said: “Rising prices along with recent caps to housing benefits, including the abolition of housing benefit for those under 21, are key reasons why those on lower incomes are being pushed out of the rental market.
“However, recent RICS research revealed that over 50 per cent of private landlords would house homeless people if the government introduced some form of state-endorsed deposit guarantor scheme. We need industry professionals to lend their expertise and inform us of any other such innovative ideas that we, as a united property industry, can tap into and deliver to put an end to rising homelessness.”
Keep up-to-date with the latest Home for Cathy news - including the Matrics UK Board's 'Rough Sleep-Out' charity challenge - by joining the conversation on Twitter @RICSnews using the hashtag #AHomeforCathy

Monday, 27 March 2017

Mayor and MP open Larkfleet's Thorney showhome!

At Larkfleet, we don't believe in doing things by halves and our Thorney showhome is another accolade for the growing Larkfleet Homes brand.

The stunning family home on Woburn Avenue in Thorney was officially opened by the mayor of Peterborough -  Councillor David Sanders - Stewart Jackson MP and Karl Hick, Larkfleet CEO
on Friday 24 March (pictured left to right cutting the ribbon in our photo).

It was a fantastic day as members of the Larkfleet team were joined by Peterborough city councillors and Thorney parish councillors alongside local business leaders.

Karl Hick said during the event: "As you probably know, the house building industry has been through some difficult years recently. However, I am pleased to say that Larkfleet weathered the storms of the recession and we are now rapidly expanding our activities.

"We remain committed to working with local authorities and local communities in our ‘core areas’ of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

"We continue to deliver high quality homes that meet the urgent need for new housing that will enable people to ‘get a foot on the property ladder'.

"Even in places such as Thorney where, as you can see, some of the homes we are building are more likely to be bought by those moving to their second or third property, the movement in the market that these sales create helps first-time buyers elsewhere in the chain."

The Thorney showhome is now officially open so if you fancy making a move to the village of Thorney and owning a Larkfleet home, you can visit seven days a week between 10 am and 5 pm.

The development is situated in the heart of Thorney on Woburn Avenue, PE6 OSN. You can call 07824327351 or visit for more details. 

Larkfleet would also like to say a big thank you to all that attended the event and for their continued support.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Coming soon....

Do you fancy living in a lovely brand new Larkfleet home in the South West of England? Well very soon your dream can become a reality. Larkfleet Homes South West is busy working on its Larkfleet Rise development 3,4 and 5 bedroom homes in the idyllic village of Creech St Michael near Taunton in Somerset. 

Taunton is a beautiful and lively country town in the pretty county of Somerset, England. Rich in history, with a wide range of older and modern houses, it’s easy to see why so many people opt to buy a new home in Taunton.
Taunton and the surrounding area boast stunning landscapes which you will struggle to match anywhere in the country.
It's a popular shopping destination. The town offers all the high-street names you would expect in a town of this size alongside many long-established independent shops.
You can also be sure to find an array of food outlets, many of which will sell tasty food from local producers – something for which Taunton has a great reputation.
You will never have time to be bored in Taunton! Whether it be visiting a park, watching a show, shopping or eating, the town really is the 'pick of the west' and a great place to set up a new home.

Call 0845 450 7872 for more information or visit 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Larkfleet funding for Mexican solar steam demo project

The Larkfleet Group of Companies has secured funding to test its revolutionary renewable solar thermal system in Mexico. 

Larkfleet’s ‘solar steam’ technology concentrates the power of the sun’s rays to heat water to create steam which can be used in industrial processes.

To highlight the global commercial viability of the technology following the granting of patents Larkfleet applied for funding to deliver a pre-commercial demonstration of solar steam at a site in Morelos in Mexico.  

A funding application to develop the demonstration was made through the Mexico-UK Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme, which is sponsored by the National Science and Technology Council in Mexico (CONACYT), Innovate UK and the Newton Fund.

Larkfleet will develop the pre-commercial demonstrator in collaboration with academic and industrial partners in Mexico and with the support of Queen Mary University of London. Larkfleet will contribute £160,000 to the total project budget of £800,000. It is thought that the project will take two years to complete.

Simone Perini, project manager for the solar steam project, said: “All the contracts have been completed and signed and work is n ow beginning”.

The potential for renewable power generation using a solar steam array is greatest in sunny regions like Mexico, which is one of the fastest growing solar markets worldwide. The solar market in Mexico grew by more than 500 per cent in 2016 and has an estimated potential of between four and six gigawatts of capacity per year by 2030*. 

This potential provides an opportunity for investment in solar steam to increase renewable heat input and reduce energy costs. For example, industrial facilities that use fossil fuels to provide the thermal energy required for their processes can instead install the Larkfleet solar steam collector to generate low carbon heat. 

The Larkfleet solar steam system works by focussing the sun’s rays through a Fresnel lens array onto a tube which contains water. The water is heated to create steam which can be used in industrial process heating and cooling applications.

The angle of the lens array can be adjusted through a vertical axis to track the sun and is seated on a circular track which allows the array also to follow the sun’s progress horizontally across the sky. By tracking in both planes, the system maintains maximum levels of solar radiation concentrated on the tubes. 

Simone Perini said: “Solar steam builds on existing ideas about using solar radiation to generate heat and takes them a step further.

“Following extensive testing in the UK – where the weather is often not ideal for solar power! – we are taking this technology to a wider market where we believe it will have a positive impact on the generation of sustainable and renewable heat. 

“This collaboration with academic, commercial and international funding partners to deliver a demonstration installation in Mexico is the next step in commercial and technical development of the concept."

Dr Rafael Castrejon-Pita, lecturer in applied science in Queen Mary University of London, added: “The Innovate UK funding has delivered an excellent opportunity for an academic institution and a company to not only solve current technology problems but also to innovate and explore new opportunities of mutual interest.”

The solar steam array can also be used to generate industrial steam for industrial applications. The Carbon Trust assessed that there are currently no more than 10 solar industrial heat systems across Africa and Latin America. The industry here is set to grow by a factor of 4,600 by 2050.

Mexico is a growing economy, with good solar potential and a need for sustainable industrial development. The potential for the success of an innovative cost-effective solar technology such as the solar steam system is clear. In several sectors such as the oil, food, drink, textiles, paper, construction and chemical industries, the proportion of low and medium (less than 250o C) process heat demand is around 60 per cent.

Simone Perini added: “The first target market for our product is the Mexican industrial sector, which accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total energy consumption. From this, 40 per cent to 60 per cent is destined to produce process heat. One of the industries with major energy consumption is the chemical industry, where most of the energy is used to generate steam for heat process applications.”

Friday, 17 March 2017

Congratulations to Manor Farm!

..and the winner is...

Manor Farm at Fincham!

Well done to Manor Farm for picking up the customer care award at the recent King's Lynn Mayors Business Awards.

Larkfleet sponsored the award and it was a privilege to be part of such a lively and inspiring event.

The Mayor's Business Awards were established in 1989 by former mayor Cllr Les Daubney. The aim of the awards is to recognise the achievements of local businesses and they provide organisations with a perfect opportunity to showcase their success. 
As an award-winning housing developer, Larkfleet places its customers at heart of all its activities so sponsoring the customer care category is testimony to this.
Congratulations again!
Pictured are Mark Mann (left) and Sam Hart (right) from Lakrfleet presenting the award to the lucky winners!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Is it time to make a move to Oakham?

At Larkfleet Homes, we understand the importance of building new homes in lovely locations so it was great to read that the stunning market town of  Oakham in Rutland has been voted one of the best places to live in the UK by The Times.
It's easy to see why.

Oakham  is a beautiful market town in the charming county of Rutland.

So why should you consider living in Oakham? You will never be at a loss when it comes to enjoying outdoor activities in the county of Rutland with Rutland Water on your doorstep. 

Oakham is a hot spot for independent boutiques, coffee shops, cafes and restaurants. If you are looking forward to eating out in Oakham or shopping in Oakham, you won't be disappointed.

Oakham also offers great transport links so if you are looking to buy a new home in Oakham, you can commute from easily to cities such as Peterborough, Birmingham, Leicester, Cambridge and London.

If you are looking to buy a new home in this popular market town, Larkfleet Homes has a stunning new build development - Buttercross Park - which is located on the outskirts of Oakham off Barleythorpe Road.

Buttercross Park offers a range of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom eco-friendly and energy efficient properties all designed to the highest spec.

If you are interested in making a move to Oakham and owning a gorgeous Larkfleet home, please call 01572 722262.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

5 steps to make your garden spring ready

Here comes the sun!  The bright tops are out and at Larkfleet HQ we are already thinking about dining alfresco!

Spring is a great time of year to throw out the clutter and refresh.

It's a time for growth and change and, after what seems like a very long winter, we can now start to think about enjoying some time in the garden.

1) Preparation is key!

You need to clean the garden of the winter's mess and any nasty storms and remove broken branches, leaves and other debris. This is actually quite therapeutic too!

2) Get the tools out!

If they have been neglected all winter, the chances are they will need a good clean and scrub - soap and water will suffice.

3) Have some muddy fun.

It's vital that you make sure the soil is ready for all your lovely plants. Turn the soil with a pitchfork. clearing out all the weeds, and add some fresh compost to the mix!

4) Make a plan!

Research and discover what will work best in your space. Are you going for a Mediterranean look or more English garden? Make sure you plan when your space gets the best sunshine and during what time of the day.

5) Maintain your creation

Make sure you keep on top of your new little green haven by pruning and tending to it.

We would love to see your progress, from mud to plants, so do keep us in the loop on our Facebook page and show us your fun and flowery pictures!


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A day at the races

Larkfleet Homes loves to see people having fun and to support local activities. So we were delighted to sponsor the Open Maiden race at the recent Cottesmore Point-to-Point event held at Garthorpe, not far from our HQ in Bourne.

The winner of the race we sponsored was a horse called Emtidaad owned by Bill Hawkins and ridden by David Mansell. There were 15 runners but Emtidaad – just four years old – romped home to win very impressively by 15 lengths.

Point-to-Point racing is a traditional rural event attracting people from the immediate locality and enthusiasts from further afield. ‘Maiden’ races are for horses that have not previously won at an event.

The Cottesmore race day is run entirely by volunteers (about 90 people are involved on the day) and is financed by race entry fees, admissions to the race course and by sponsorship – so Larkfleet’s contribution helped to keep this thriving tradition alive.

We hope punters made a few pounds backing the winner of ‘our’ race. Whether you won or lost, though – or didn’t bet at all – you can surely back a winner by making your next home a Larkfleet house!
Our photo shows Larkfleet Homes director of sales Sam Hart (right) handing the trophy to Phoebe Hawkins, daughter of Emtidaad owner Bill Hawkins (left) with jockey David Mansell.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week starts tomorrow (Monday 6 March) and we're delighted to voice our support.

Even during the recent recession we kept our apprenticeship programme going. It is vital for the housebuilding industry to invest in training the next generation of construction professionals. Otherwise we will never be able to build enough homes for the UK's growing population.

Our chief executive, Kark Hick, has urged the industry to do more - including in this recent blog post. And he is leading by example as a director of the Greater Peterborough University Technical College (GPUTC) where Larkfleet is one of the three employee sponsors helping young people to get a foothold in the construction industry with job-focused education and training.

The college is currently recruiting students for the new academic year which starts in September. It offers a new and distinctive educational choice for young people from the age of 14 to 19.

Helen Hick, HR director for The Larkfleet Group of Companies, said: “There is a huge variety of careers in construction – everything from architecture and engineering through to hands-on construction activity on site and support functions such as accounting, marketing and HR.

“It would be great to see more young people taking up the opportunities which a course at GPUTC can offer.”

Staff from Larkfleet have attended several open evenings at the college to give potential students an insight into a new career in construction.

For more information on GPUTC and the courses on offer visit