Go Homes

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Go Homes's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Go Homes is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


CEO Oliver Hookway
Boudicca Gardens – a
development of nine family
homes in Waltham Abbey
GO Homes Family is a residential development company
based in Chelmsford, Essex. Founded in the home of
CEO Oliver Hookway in 2008, its main objective has
never been to build a thousand carbon copy houses or to
compete with the well-known, large housebuilders out there.
Rather, it aims to work with passion, humility and determination
to build genuine, quality family homes. It recently added
“family” to its name after a long overdue brand evolution, as
family has always been at its core – not least because so many
of the team are actually related. Oliver tells the
On the theme of keeping it in the family, our ability to acquire land, design,
construct, market and sell all under one roof means we can move more quickly
than others around us, building a good reputation and even better relationships
within the local area too. As we break ground on our second development in the
small village of Elmstead Market, near Colchester, being able to rely on the support
of those who have lived there for decades is invaluable.
A unique approach
Having recently celebrated moving our 100th family into their new home, we’re
proud to say that in just over 11 years we have only built 100 houses. Our
developments, as you might have guessed, are smaller than most – our largest is
currently Fusiliers Green, consisting of 49 three, four and five-bed homes – which
»CEO: Oliver Hookway
»Founded in 2008
»Based in Chelmsford, Essex
»Services: Land acquisition,
planning, design and build,
new build sales and estate
GO Homes
Highlighting best practice
is by choice. A smaller development
enables us to carefully craft
communities ideal for families of all
shapes and sizes, as well as to work
hard to ensure they make for a perfect
fit into the other communities in the
surrounding areas.
Frequently selling off-plan and being
able to hand each stage of the
development to a team member on
a neighbouring desk, having created
an efficient, streamlined process,
provides us with the time to take a
step back and look at where we can
evolve our team and how. As the
bid for land becomes increasingly
competitive, especially when head
to head with industry giants, and
amid the government’s plan to build
more houses than ever before, the
market remains uncertain; for us,
it was necessary to concentrate on
improving our strategy, as opposed to
In the last two years we have made 15
new hires, four of whom have been
within the marketing department
and include millennials from some
of London’s best social media and
creative agencies. Adding this kind of
diversity to our GO Homes family has
helped us translate our services and
company brand values into something
visual and tangible, which has
consequently enabled us to increase
our brand awareness online and to
continue to hire people who share our
values, one of which is also to invest in
the future.
Moving forward through
As it stands, SMEs in the property
sector currently receive no support
from the government in their efforts
to provide family homes, even though
the target number of houses built
each year has now risen to 300,000.
This ever-increasing target, which is of
course necessary and significant, has
encouraged us to consider whether
the housing market, much like many
others, has become a numbers-driven
sector. Naturally, the quickest way
to meet that target is to build units
of over 1,000 homes and therefore
back larger companies who can fulfil
As a result, those whose aim it is to
build diverse homes of quality and
sustainability are finding it more
and more difficult to compete,
The Richmond at The
Avenue in Takeley
A smaller
enables us to
carefully craft
ideal for
families of all
shapes and
which means as each SME is outbid,
we’re just growing the number of
standardised homes that lack the
imagination and quality that are key to
a solid family home.
Fewer and fewer new homes are
being built by small housebuilders as
they continue to be outbid by larger
companies with bigger budgets, which
unfortunately means that the number
of SMEs in the industry is dwindling.
We look forward to and strive towards
working with other SMEs in the near
future and hope that together, with
the right support, we can increase the
number of idyllic family homes built in
the UK each year.
Despite being a former accountant
and recognising that the industry has a
numbers problem, I am not interested in
dwelling – unless it’s of the residential
type. We are keen to create an action
tank, not a think tank, that ensures
our values permeate throughout the
communities we’re bidding to become
a part of. Some bids we will win and
some we won’t; what is most important
to us is that if we are lucky enough to
successfully buy land, we already how
it can best be used to benefit new
homeowners and their new community.
By the end of this year we will have
three new developments underway
and although they won’t be ready
for completion until 2020, we’ve
already reserved a large number of
them. One of our developments in
Elmstead Market will also include a
new community centre, something
we discovered Elmstead’s residents
were in desperate need of, after we
met with the local parish council.
Each month of the year so far, various
GO Homes team members have
visited many Elmstead locals as we’ve
worked with them to provide support
throughout the village where it is
In 2018 we launched our own craft
beer with McMullens, as a nod to
their former coachworks, which we
were carefully restoring and expanding
to become our first development in
Hertford, just up the road from the
McMullens brewery. From sponsoring
local football teams and building a
Lego shed for kids, to taking our Ken
the Kamper van to village fêtes and
trying our hand at running our own
coffee shop, we’re always looking
for ways to not only give back to the
community but to also become a part
of it ourselves – because homes really
are a family business and we’re always
looking to expand ours.
We look
forward to
and strive
working with
other SMEs in
the near
GO Homes’ very own
ale, brewed for the
launch of their Carriage
Court development and
served in local Hertford


This article was sponsored by Go Homes. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster