It is so important for every new homes developer to try and get on with their neighbours. Peter Griffin, Site Manager for Miller Homes Archers Fields development in the beautiful village of Silsoe, firmly believes by embracing the Considerate Constructors Scheme into their site it has made a significant difference.
Archers Fields is an edge of the countryside development where various house types, including a bungalow, are being built and one of the challenges that presents is making sure the homes blend in with the existing village. Purchasers want to have all the benefits of country living but at the same time have a modern house that is very much a part of the community in which they have chosen to live.
The Considerate Constructors Scheme has really helped to promote a sense of well-being amongst the site team with clearly defined goals that everyone works hard to achieve. At this particular development the team are building alongside occupied homes and there is also a horticultural centre just metres away from the development boundary. By adopting the methods referred to in the Scheme, it has enabled Miller Homes to portray a professional, respectful build team who are very mindful of their surroundings and the consequences their actions can have on others who are situated close-by.
Consultation and incorporating the local community has played a high priority since the project first began with information on proposed work and regular updates on activity conveyed via the Silsoe Parish News and other media. Talks on Health and Safety and the potential dangers of a building site have been given at local schools, contributions have been made to the local wildlife rescue centre and build materials have been donated to the adult learning centre. Peter has also kept in regular contact with the local Parish Councillor so any items requiring discussion can be resolved quickly and efficiently.
One area that has helped to avoid potential difficulties has been the careful scheduling of deliveries to the site. Loading and unloading can only take place during certain hours of the day which avoids the rush hours and the school run. If, for any reason, they are required to work outside the normal Monday to Friday, contact is made with the Central Bedfordshire Environmental Officer and a mail shot is sent to all the local residents with an explanation as to why this is happening. If a dry spell causes dust problems, Miller Homes arrange for a local cleaning company to clean down the front of any properties that may have been affected free of charge.
It is impossible to please all of the people all of the time but by acting in a considerate manner and keeping a clean, presentable and well managed site the vast majority of local people have not had a problem with the development.
Peter operates an open door policy and his office is available to meet residents from Monday to Friday and this is complete with disabled parking and access. In addition to this a suggestion box is permanently displayed outside the main gate and his phone number is given in two separate locations. Peter believes this constant opportunity for contact has shown the local people that Miller Homes is approachable and has nothing to hide.
The values of the Considerate Constructors Scheme have proven to be successful at Archers Fields.
Peter has instilled in his team be honest, make people aware of what is happening through good communication, join in with community activities and be prepared to listen and maintain an open door policy. Judging by the number of very happy purchasers, great homes are being built as well!
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