Larkfleet Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Larkfleet Group'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 Larkfleet Group 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

www.larkfleetgroup.co.uk

1LARKFLEET GROUP |
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
Chairman Karl Hick
Larkfleet Group HQ in
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Founded in 1998 with just two members of staff, the Larkfleet
Group of companies has experienced impressive growth in
just over 20 years. Now turning over around £80 million per
year and employing nearly 100 people, the new homes specialist
now occupies purpose-built headquarters in Bourne, Lincolnshire.
With new opportunities aplenty, the company operates under
the guises of Larkfleet Homes, Allison Homes and Swift Homes.
Chairman Karl Hick tells the
Review
more about the business’s
core offering and its expanding horizons.
Most of Larkfleet’s new housing developments are in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire,
Northamptonshire and Rutland. However, we have been so successful in these
locations that we have expanded across the width of England, with new housing
developments from Devon in the west to Norfolk in the east. At the start of this
year we were building more homes on more sites than ever before but coronavirus
temporarily slowed this.
Our corporate mission is “to produce high-quality sustainable developments
using innovative technology and construction methods, delivered to exceed our
customers’ expectations”. Those are not just fine words on the wall above our
reception desk, though they are indeed there, but an aspiration that the company
tries to live by. All new Larkfleet homes are built using the latest technologies and
many of our homes are fitted with solar photovoltaic systems, helping to improve
energy-efficiency and reduce running costs for their future owners.
We strive to employ local people and to place contracts with local suppliers. Our
success means that we are able to support local economies with employment
FACTS ABOUT
LARKFLEET GROUP
»Chairman: Karl Hick
»Established in 1998
»Based in Bourne, Lincolnshire
»Housebuilding and solar
energy
»100 directly employed staff
»Invests in sustainability-
focused R&D
Larkfleet Group
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
2| LARKFLEET GROUP
opportunities, support local ecosystems
with our sustainable construction and
environmental practices and support
local communities through activities
such as working with schools and
charities. All the businesses within the
group share a common philosophy
of embracing sustainability in all
its aspects – environmental, social
andeconomic.
Buying a Larkfleet home
Many Larkfleet homes are available
under the government’s Help to Buy
scheme which makes it possible to
buy a home with a deposit of just five
per cent of the purchase price. Help
to Buy is available not just to first-
time buyers but to anyone buying a
newly built home, of course subject to
certaincriteria.
We also offer several schemes of
our own to help make the process
of moving home as easy as possible.
These include a Part-Exchange scheme
under which we will take your existing
home as part payment for your new
one, and a Secure Home Purchase
Scheme where we support the sale of
your current house.
Training, research and
development
We invest extensively in education
and training, not just through
our apprenticeship and graduate
recruitment programmes but through
support for local colleges and the
Greater Peterborough University
Technical College, which we helped to
set up.
We also invest heavily in research
and development of innovative
new building designs, materials and
construction methods. In the past
we have undertaken a number of
demonstration projects which aim
to improve the sustainability of new
housing and make it possible to
build in areas where development
is currently precluded because of
floodrisks.
The Larkfleet Passivehouse, built
alongside our head office, has been
constructed using Startlink Lightweight
Building Systems (SLBS) materials and
methods. It is highly energy-efficient
and requires very limited power for
daily living.
It shows how lightweight pultruded
glass-reinforced plastic composite
beams and panels could revolutionise
the way in which homes are
constructed. It is designed to be
“factory built” using modular
components that can be mass-
produced off site and then easily
installed on site with minimal labour
and site waste.
Having now proved this principle, we
are pursuing ways of bringing the
concept to a wider commercial market.
We are also investigating the exciting
potential for houses to be built that
could rise in response to flooding.
We have built a half-scale timber-
framed house on rising foundations
in the garden of the existing Larkfleet
passivehouse and are currently
constructing a full-size prototype using
The X-house
We support
local
economies
with
employment
opportunities,
local
ecosystems
with our
sustainable
construction,
and local
communities
by working
with schools
and charities
3LARKFLEET GROUP |
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
a steel frame on a site near Spalding in
Lincolnshire. The three-bedroom house
can be raised up to 1.5 metres above
ground level by eight mechanical
jacks, lifting it above flood waters, if
theyoccur.
On an adjacent site we have also
erected an experimental pair of
lightweight modular housing units
built on an elevated platform. If
successful, this system would enable
much-needed housing to be built on
land in areas that are short of housing
and where land is in “part time” use
for things such as industrial parks and
local authority land.
In addition to an extensive R&D
programme linked to housebuilding,
we are investing in new solar power
technologies. We have built and tested
a solar steam power rig designed to
generate carbon-free electricity. It works
by concentrating solar energy through
a series of plastic lenses, mounted on
a giant sun-tracking array, which focus
the sun’s rays onto water- filled metal
tubes to produce hot water and steam.
The technology is now moving from
the research phase into commercial
development. We recently signed a
contract with Richfield Engineering
of Kenya under which Richfield will
manufacture Solar Steam plants for
Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia
and India.
So, we anticipate continuing growth
in our business through the 2020s
but, importantly, will be laying the
foundations for future success through
long-term investment in research,
development and training. All of this,
of course, will be in a market which
has been severely disrupted by the
coronavirus pandemic. To safeguard
the health of staff, contractors and
customers, we had to stop work on all
our sites. Happily, we are now building
again but often using methods
of working adapted to minimise
coronavirus health risks. It seems
unlikely that the pandemic will have
a long-term impact on the housing
market. There is still a huge demand
for quality housing at realistic prices
and we are committed to meeting that
demand. However, the market will
need short-term government support
to get swiftly back into full production.
Laying the
foundations
for future
success
through long-
term
investment in
research,
development
and training
A Larkfleet Homes
development

www.larkfleetgroup.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Larkfleet Group. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

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