City & Country has a desire and genuine passion to viably conserve, restore and newly create Britain’s architectural heritage. Embracing the best of the present, through exceptional design and build standards, we sensitively add value to very special places; to be enjoyed today and cherished by future generations.
City & Country is a family owned business which was originally founded in 1962. The Group has always been construction focused, although over the last 50 years we have been successfully evolving and embracing change to become a market leading niche developer; specialising in working with the very best of Britain’s architectural heritage and sensitive landscapes.
Based in Stansted, Essex, City & Country has historically operated in East Anglia. As part of our strategy for growth and in order to capitalise on our core skills and new opportunities we have expanded our sphere of operation to include London, the South East, the South West and prime markets around key cities.
Our background means that we are very well placed to evaluate and deliver complex mixed use schemes but we are best known for our award winning reputation as an expert in the conservation, restoration and conversion of historic and listed buildings. This combined with the sympathetic and complementary design of new properties around these nationally important heritage assets or in other sensitive places has put us at the forefront of specialist property development.
While the economic crisis may have created havoc within the development industry over recent years, City & Country has viewed these difficulties as a genuine opportunity. Conservative and careful planning coupled with the decision to turn assets into cash immediately prior to the credit crunch has ensured the company’s financial wellbeing. This and the continued support from our funders over forty years has enabled us to make shrewd acquisitions. As a result, we are now poised to take the next well considered step towards achieving our ambition of tripling the value of the company over the next four to five years.
Quality is at the centre of everything that City & Country does, which is how we remain leaders in our field. By combining experience with a fresh, creative approach and a strong emphasis on design and traditional craftsmanship we are able to deliver successful and aspirational developments. With fifty years in business, our most powerful motivation continues to be the constant pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement in every part of our business.
Joint Venture Partnerships
City & Country also seeks opportunities to enter into joint ventures with landowners or financial institutions. We have a proven track record of successful partnerships and pride ourselves on our ability to work with those who share our vision.
Development investment opportunities exist at all City & Country sites for those individuals or parties who wish to invest capital and require no practical input. Potential returns are very competitive. Please contact Simon Marner on 01279 817882 for specific details on returns and yields.
Successful joint ventures have already succeeded at Park House, Gilston Park, Harston and have been established at King Edward VII Hospital and at Balls Park. Financial investors are already committed at The Galleries, Essex.
Reputation & Expert Opinion
City & Country has a reputation for creating outstanding homes. By the very nature of the restoration projects we embrace, each presents its own challenges and this has been recognised by a wide spectrum of independent experts.
Our success has only been achieved through genuine collaboration and working in partnership with local authorities, English Heritage, Natural England, landowners, our development partners and other key stakeholders.
Over the years we have been able to form strong mutually respectful relationships which have allowed us to find innovative, viable and award-winning solutions for nationally important heritage assets and complex and challenging sites.
Optimising Land Value
As a company City & Country has a long tradition of constructively and imaginatively finding solutions that fit sensitively with the important heritage and ecological aspects of complex and difficult sites.
Our portfolio includes Enabling Developments, complex planning consents and change of use from commercial to residential thus adding immense value to sites. As planning is becoming more and more laborious we have built up an expert Research and Development team which is key in ensuring that we have the skills and resources to succeed in today's planning environment. As a result, we are highly successful in achieving planning consents for our development proposals.
Through the delivery of our projects, the company has built up good working relationships with local Conservation Officers, Planners and English Heritage in Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
City & Country has an on-going requirement for land & property to enable progression and expansion of the business. In addition to historic and listed buildings we are also particularly interested in opportunities in Central London and for small sites throughout the South East.
This requirement includes both commercial and residential sites, as well as sites with listed buildings and other conversion opportunities including; strategic land sites large and small, agricultural land, woodland, regeneration sites (brownfield), land with and without planning consent, commercial and/or residential investment properties.
Conservation & Restoration Specialists
Working closely with English Heritage and other conservationists, City & Country provides a sympathetic and understanding approach to significant buildings to ensure their survival for the enjoyment of future generations. The company is skilled in developing and enhancing high profile, sensitive sites which require original thinking in order to plan space, proportion and rejuvenate prestigious historical buildings. We have experience of all grades of Listed Buildings as well as Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
Painstaking care is taken during the design and build process to maximise the potential of the distinguishing features of each historic property. Immense care and respect is given to the conservation of ancient brickwork, beams, floor coverings, fireplaces, wood panelling, architraves, doors, windows, cornices, staircases and plaster work.
Adding Value Through Design
At City & Country we aim to realise the potential of our historic and important sites and ensure that they sit in harmony with their surroundings. Development plans incorporate themes which come from lengthy public consultations since it is vital that we progress a development that reflects the community's as well as our own aspirations for the site.
Furthermore, the company's belief is in a refusal to compromise with the easiest and cheapest solution. We would rather push boundaries to develop a creative and sympathetic solution to renovation, whilst maintaining the proportion, detail and character of the original and adhering to modern building regulation requirements.
“City & Country’s guiding principle is to work with the historic grain of our sites. We are recognised within the industry as being at the forefront of intelligent design with the ability to weave contemporary homes into a building’s history and character, creating unique and outstanding properties that will stand the test of time.”
Simon Vernon - Harcourt Architect
City & Country's mission is to restore and conserve the outstanding features of historical buildings while incorporating all the modern benefits expected in homes today.
The starting point is to assess the state of disrepair of the buildings and identify essential repairs to ensure that no further damage is sustained in the short term. Buildings are secured in order to try to prevent further theft of the historic fixtures and fabric of the building. Simultaneously our experts research and try to understand in detail the unique and important aspects and features of not only the buildings and their historic development but also the site itself. Research is also required in order to inform decision making with regard to the removal of any of the less sympathetic additions and extensions.
Historic features, such as stairs, windows and robust timber trusses form the constraints and focal points around which the layouts are then designed. New buildings are created with traditional materials, proportions and detail which ensures that they enhance their surroundings.
City & Country believes in investing heavily in quality landscaping which enhances and complements the careful restoration of historic buildings. We believe in landscaping to achieve immediate effect so that homeowners can enjoy their gardens as soon as they move in.
Existing mature trees are carefully protected during the construction process, to allow them to become the focal points within the landscape. We always use good quality materials such as York stone and granite with appropriate architectural metal work to create interest. We carefully consider the positioning of manhole lids and services in the hard landscape and we use strategically placed trees or shrubbery to screen the necessary but utilitary aspects of the scene.
For authenticity where possible we follow the plans proposed by the building's original architects whether they were actually realised or not.