It might seem a big claim to make, but I believe ESG has been at the very core of what we do at Audley Group for a long time. From the buildings we give new purpose to, through to how we support people live healthy and independent lives, lifting pressure off stretched care services. It’s built into the very foundations of the business.
Today, we have three core pillars in our ESG strategy.
This encompasses the sites we acquire and develop right through to the point of handover. It means decontaminating land, working closely with local environment agencies to preserve water supplies, implementing modern methods of construction and using the latest heating innovations, plus much more.
This is how we run our villages. To give some examples: the green energy tariffs we offer our owners, our partnership with the rainforest alliance, and where we source our ingredients for our restaurants and bistros, with some of the ingredients coming from our owners’ allotments or the walled gardens.
Owner and employee engagement
Looking at how we support and educate our people, from our owners to our village teams.
Today, it’s the development pillar I want to focus on.
Headley Court is one of our newest sites and it is steeped in history. The 23-acre site was previously used by the Ministry of Defence and Help for Heroes as a rehabilitation centre and approval has been granted for 112 properties on the site.
The project involves the complete refurbishment of the existing Jacobean style Grade II listed mansion and stables, to give these buildings a new lease of life. This is hugely important to us. Using the fabric of historic buildings means that we don’t need to start again, neither do we want to. Instead we can honour these beautiful buildings’ past and give them new purpose for many years to come.
Alongside the restoration, we’re also developing new buildings on the site. Within these we’re implementing build technologies and innovations that set us on a path to building and operating an operationally net zero village in the very near future.
The buildings have been purposely designed to be slightly bigger, to allow for high specification thermal insulation to be installed. This in combination with heat pump technology, will mean the buildings are incredibly energy efficient. We have also orientated the buildings to maximise south-facing roof space for the installation of solar panels, which will contribute to the energy requirements of the village.
Alongside our environmental ambitions, the village will also deliver positive social impact. The listed gardens have for a long time been closed to the public, but we will be reviving these and opening them to the local community, as well as sensitively restoring some of the land back to greenbelt, which will achieve a bio diversity net gain.
When the village is complete, the local community will have access to CQC-rated Audley Care, health and wellness facilities, a swimming pool and restaurant located in the main house.
The innovations and new development practices showcase how we are approaching new sites, with an equal balance between usability and net zero commitments.
We, as a developer and operator, are uniquely placed on this net zero journey and I look forward to being able to share more information on this, and Headley Court, as the build progresses over the next few months.