MEET THE DEVELOPERS OF MULBERRY LANE, LOVINGTON
James and William Habershon for 21st Century Homes

You might think brothers James (R) and Will Habershon (L) look young for property developers – but the only thing green about them is their ideas. Will told us more about their ethos and their latest development, Mulberry Lane in Lovington near Castle Cary in Somerset.

James and William Habershon for 21st Century Homes

Hello, when did you start the company and why?

I used to work in the West End of London as a Chartered Surveyor and James worked in Somerset, as a Project Manager, for which he won several building awards from LABC (Local Authority Building Control). We both had a huge drive to build greener and prettier houses, so in 2014 we took the plunge and got cracking with the first of now many developments.

Describe your approach

We spend a lot of time in the design stages, perfecting dimensions, layouts, aesthetics and use of natural light – and our main driver is to keep improving our houses to make them greener. For example, we install nesting boxes from a company called Bird Brick Houses into every house; these boxes provide invaluable safe space for a range of native song birds. So far we’ve kept our developments small, but if we do take on bigger projects in future, we’ll be very mindful that very large projects displace wildlife, creating ‘dead zones’ and putting enormous pressure on many endangered species –so we will be doing everything we can to avoid that.

Birds

What inspires your work?

We design the houses as if they’re our personal forever homes.  Every square inch of the house is considered and we don’t rest until it’s spot on. It goes without saying that we want to get them to the stage where we’re proud to drive past them.

How do you select your new sites?

We like to build in sought-after areas in the countryside and wherever possible on brownfield sites.

Tell us about your current project..

It’s a small cluster of six houses in the desirable village of Lovington, near the market town of Castle Cary. We called it Mulberry Lane because we are planting Mulberry trees in the gardens and decided that as the fruits are delicious, so Mulberry Lane it had to be! The show home has just been finished and is ready to see now and we’re aiming to finish the whole development by the end of October 2020.

View from window

What makes this place special?

As with our last development at Hornbeam Lane near Babington House in Somerset, it’s small, so the owners will inevitably create their own little community. The houses also have FTTP Broadband (fibre to the premises) giving the home offices in each house super-fast internet connection. You can also get to London from Castle Cary station in about 1.5 hours. There is a lovely village school, good pubs and restaurants in the locality and even a bakery within walking distance!

How did you consider the site fitting in with the existing environment?

As with all our builds, we use natural, local materials where possible. We chose Blue Lias stone and natural clay Double Roman tiles for the roofs. We also used larch timber cladding for a number of elevations to further soften the look and we also use this to build the fascias, soffits and bargeboards rather than painted wood or plastic. We also installed wooden windows and doors rather than uPVC and used oak timber to construct the porches.

Finally we installed air-source heat pumps, to avoid fossil fuel burning boilers.

Kitchen

What else can people expect when they come to view?

Quality finishes, a space that makes them feel good. People often comment how much they like the aesthetics inside and out, but particularly mention the layout and colour palette. They also comment on the generous room dimensions and ceiling heights and love the attention to detail. Also, to date all of the houses we have constructed have achieved a high A – rated Energy Performance Certificate.

You’ve worked with Lodestone before – why did you decide to work with them again?

Yes, they sold the houses at Hornbeam Lane for us. We love their approach and their can do attitude and they are exceptionally good at matching the right buyers with the right houses. They also fully engage with the buyers to really understand what they are after in a new home, so we only get serious buyers coming to view them.

 What are you most looking forward to seeing in this development when it’s complete?

The excitement on the new owners faces as they move in watching them all create new friendships with the other house owners.

To book a viewing please call the Lodestone office in Bruton on 01749 605099

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