Challenger housebuilder Backhouse sells first homes at landmark development

The first homes created by independent design-led SME housebuilder Backhouse have been sold at its landmark residential development in Castle Cary, Somerset.

The Lovel’s Farm site comprises 74 distinctive new homes designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM).

Although the show home has just opened, there have been nine off plan reservations already – with the first buyers due to move in over the next month.

The SME housebuilder has ambitious plans to deliver 500 homes a year by FY2022, which has been made possible following a £50m investment from alternative asset management firm Cheyne Capital.

The firm also has other sites underway in Westbury and Calne in Wiltshire and is now on a major land buying programme across the West Country and M4 corridor.

Founder Theo Backhouse, who started the firm in 2016, said: “Making our first sales is a big step in the evolution of the company.

“The support we’ve found in this region – from the town and parish councils to the subcontractors we are working with and our first customers – has been fantastic and has given the business a strong base to grow from.

“One of our founding principles is that housebuilding in the UK can be done better and we are now committed to finding the best land for developing in our region and beyond.

“We aim to use the best design talent in Britain to deliver new homes and places where people and communities can flourish.”

Backhouse says the differentiator in their homes is the focus on creating abundant natural light and flexible living spaces and the fact they are developed around shared open spaces to foster a sense of community living.

Simon Allford, a founding director of architects AHMM, said: “In 2016 Backhouse invited us to take a fresh look at housebuilding.

“Backhouse are a new company with the stated ambition to build better homes and places. Together we share the ambition to create high quality, generously sized, contemporary homes with community at their heart.

“At Lovel’s Farm we have now built our first new residential quarter within easy reach of both the centre of Castle Cary and its mainline station and offering easy access to the beautiful countryside.

“Working with the Backhouse team has proved a truly enjoyable collaboration, their openness and enthusiasm for design clearly invested in delivering this unique and exceptional development.”