Landscape architecture firms see business pick up thanks to house-building recovery

Signs of recovery in the house-building sector are having a positive impact on landscape architecture practices as work starts to pick up.

Enquiries are increasing in the sector, according to landscape architecture firms, and that is bolstered by figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC) showing applications to build new homes were up two thirds.

The statistics showed applications in the three months to February 2010 were up 66 per cent on the same period last year.

Studio Engleback director Luke Engleback explained: "The rug got pulled from under our feet at the beginning of last year. But it has picked up and there are definitely things happening." The firm has been working with Countryside Properties, Linden Homes and smaller, niche developers.

The NHBC figures showed major increases in applications across the country, with the exception of the North West.

Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply research showed UK construction activity had risen during March for the first time since February 2008, with house building showing the strongest increase.

Macfarlane Wilder director Peter Wilder told HW that he had started recruiting for the first time in two years. "The phone started ringing eight weeks ago and hasn't stopped," he revealed. Whitelaw Turkington director Mike Martin added there was a "cautious increase in enquiries".

LDA Design director Kirk Nelson agreed: "We have been putting through proposals for some of the bigger developers, including Countryside, Crest Nicholson and Berkeley Homes."

The recovery is being partially attributed to the Government's £900m Kickstart housing delivery programme. Home Builders Federation director of external affairs John Slaughter told HW that there were "cautiously optimistic signs". He added: "We are not shouting from the rooftops but there are some positive signs."

Farrer Huxley Associates director Jon Sheaff said the firm had not traditionally been involved with commercial house building but was now expanding into the sector. "Potentially, there is growth out there," he added. "It hasn't fed into sales yet but we anticipate that it will."

However, in the Labour Party manifesto it says it will cut regeneration funding. British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace said: "It is one thing pledging 50,000 new affordable homes when elsewhere the manifesto says it will make savings in regeneration funding."


Region Dec 08 to Dec 09 to
Feb 09 Feb 10

East of England 2,301 3,017
East Midlands 1,116 2,037
Greater London 1,398 2,787
Isle of Man 2 19
North East 402 908
North West 1,393 1,369
Northern Ireland 534 678
Scotland 982 1,814
South East 2,271 4,635
South West 1,729 2,589
Wales 490 927
West Midlands 992 1,860
Yorkshire and the Humber 927 1,465
Totals 14,537 24,105

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer