its belt, City & Country has built up an enviable reputation for
desirable quality homes, all the while maximising margins and
Simon Vernon-Harcourt - Design & Planning Director comments:
“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.”
Planning & Design
The Planning & Design Department is formed by a team of highly experienced Conservation Architects, Town Planners and Technicians. The department plays a pivotal role within the company by assessing new development opportunities; negotiating planning and listed building consents; undertaking community consultation; negotiating legal agreements that accompany the permissions and ensuring that any Planning Conditions are promptly discharged.
Because City & Country work with listed buildings of such importance the need to demonstrate the viability and deliverability of the scheme adds an additional layer of complexity and expertise that most development companies do not encounter.
Close attention is paid to fully understand the history of a building or site; what makes it special and how this can be retained as part of any proposal. This attention to detail begins at the very start of any project and our in-house team works tirelessly to ensure that the end result is of the highest quality.
Richard Winsborough, Head of Planning comments:
“It is an absolute privilege to work on such important buildings, with a dedicated in-house team of professionals complemented by highly skilled external consultants, all working together towards the common goal of preserving our heritage for future generations.”
The Finance department plays a pivotal role within City & Country with the day to day responsibility for the financial management whilst also contributing to the planning of the company’s strategy for the future. The department’s roles are varied, from identifying appropriate financial information in order that management may make informed decisions on business strategy, managing costs and cash flow to the day-to-day running of Human Resources, IT and Maintenance.With multiple live sites and so many facets to the business it’s imperative the finance department keep their finger on the pulse ensuring financial targets are met across the board.
City & Country’s marketing team works in partnership with a number of specialist agencies to
design and implement strategic marketing plans for each of the City & Country sites. Set in both urban and rural locations and with each building having a Listed status each site is a unique challenge.
Hannah Radley, Marketing Manager comments:
‘It is not very often you get the opportunity to work with a product you truly have a passion for. Every property we sell is unique and it’s a pleasure establishing the brand and marketing strategy for each of the developments because they are so unusual and special.’
The role of the City & Country sales team is not just to sell a property but to relate the fascinating stories of the unique historic buildings in which they sit and help buyers envisage the properties once furnished with their belongings.
Once the scene-setting is finished the role of the sales team is to support the purchaser through the buying process making what can be a very stressful time as smooth and hassle free as possible. The City & Country sales team have many years of experience and can confidently support purchasers through this process from reservation to completion.
Nina Basey-Fisher, Sales Manager, comments:
‘You never have a second chance to make a first impression.’
Based at Head Office, the Land and Property Department is responsible for the identification and acquisition of new opportunities, development land sales, the management and trading of the Group commercial and ancillary property assets. With over 50 years in business, 25 of these specialising in their specialist niche, City & Country spots opportunities where others cannot, acts quickly and decisively to evaluate those opportunities and implements change where it will ultimately add value.
The Department function requires accurate communication with all other Departments within the Group as well as external trades, professionals, agents and consultants. Placing a high emphasis on communication ultimately leads to quick, informed and accurate decision making ensuring a moment is never lost.
In development, the change from pre-construction to construction is a watershed, it is the point when all the previous key stages culminate allowing work to finally commence on site. It is the role of construction to ensure the groundwork undertaken by those previous teams coalesces together and meets the agreed time, cost and quality parameters.
Construction is a people business and thus communication is the key to a successful project. Our Project Managers who head up the professional Design, Commercial and Construction teams all work hard to build trust between the teams for this reason. In addition we encourage our construction team to draw on the specialist knowledge of our sub-contractors and suppliers to achieve the best results possible.
The City & Country Interior Design team endeavour to deliver understated and elegant interiors that complement the historic buildings they sit within.
Uniquely the Interior Design team are involved in all City & Country’s restoration projects from the outset, from advising on layouts and specifications through to furnishing show apartments. Also working alongside the architects ensures that the interior specification complements rather than overshadows the original features of each property.
Liz Freeman, Interior Design Manager comments:
‘The interior design role is to really think about the people purchasing our apartments and what their needs are. At the very beginning we review how purchasers will live within the development, from entering the building into the communal areas , through to the apartments where we take in to account the best use of space, current trends, lifestyle and practicalities. By doing this we can ensure our schemes are designed to suit modern day living requirements but still create a truly one-of-a-kind home in which to live.’
Due to the uniqueness of each project the commercial team has a vital role in investigating the status of the existing buildings, design detailing and strategic intentions to assist the business in obtaining a cost effective quality and value engineered product. Resources are allocated to enable the schemes to be delivered to agreed budgets whilst ensuring that quality is the priority.
Selection of the supply chain is paramount. At the pre-procurement stage “meet the contractor events” are held and the supply chain is carefully selected so that the right calibre of workmanship is fostered from a very early stage.
Steven Morris head of Commercial comments:
“With a variety of professional and practically minded experienced staff who have the ability to forward think the team is able to present varied procurement strategies and maximise opportunities whilst minimising risks.”
The technical department forms part of the production team alongside the commercial and construction departments, providing detailed technical support to the group. Typically this comprises the selection, appointment and management of external professional consultants, achieving compliance with Building Regulations and other statutory codes, organising the delivery of utility services, the testing of properties to ensure they meet acoustic standards and best practice, and working with the commercial and construction teams during the construction phase to achieve high quality construction and value for money.