Kentish Housebuilder Bags Bronze at Industry’s Most Prestigious Event

Fernham Homes has been awarded bronze in the coveted category of Best Small Housebuilder at the prestigious WhatHouse? Awards 2019. Presented this year by Britain’s most famous astronaut, Tim Peake; and comedian and television presenter, Dara O’Briain, the WhatHouse? Awards are widely considered the housebuilding industry’s most prestigious event.

The award, received by director Michael Canham alongside additional members of the Fernham team, marks the end of a successful year, which has seen the launch of an innovative bespoke homes scheme and the launch of four new sites, including Lockesley Chase in Orpington.

Judges praised the housebuilder for quality specifications throughout its developments, alongside the thoughtfulness of design: “It is clear the directors set the mood and the standard, passionate about product and specification, but also about developing their employees and building a respected brand in the south-east, with Fernham’s distinctive pink livery.”

“Its designs, although varied and bold, pay due respect to the local vernacular such as Wealden-style timber weatherboarding. Its homes range from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom houses, with attractive street scenes creating a strong sense of place.”

Michael Canham, Director of Fernham Homes comments: “Receiving bronze for Best Small Housebuilder at one of the most prominent awards in the new homes industry is a real privilege and we are delighted to have been chosen by the expert panel. Creating quality homes which sympathetically designed to fit in with local architecture is of pivotal importance to us, and we are incredibly proud to be recognised for our successes.”

Fernham Homes provides stylish new build homes in Kent, each one built to the highest quality. Founded in 1997 by Ian Fern and Michael Canham and later joined by David Masters, the company has been building homes throughout Kent for over 20 years, after securing an initial site in Paddock Wood for five houses.

Each development is spacious and well-laid out, and every home is designed to be energy-efficient. Fitted with designer appliances, and featuring impressive interiors, including kitchens with fully integrated Bosch goods, the housebuilder strives to make each home individual and unique. Part Exchange, Assisted Move and the government-backed scheme Help to Buy are available on eligible properties, and each Fernham home comes with a 10-year NHBC warranty.

School Children and School Dog “Step up for Safe Streets”

In preparation for Road Safety Week, Fernham Homes, the housebuilder behind the new Boughton Park development on Church Road, donated reflective armbands to 30 pupils aged 9 and 10 from Boughton Monchelsea Primary School. Lyra, the school dog, was gifted a light-up collar, allowing her to support the pupils in their road safety education.

Road Safety Week takes place from 18th November and is the UK’s biggest road safety campaign, designed to promote lifesaving messages throughout the week and beyond. As the winter nights draw in, the message for pupils to be easily seen on the school run is all the more important at this time of year.

Lynne Smith, Head of Sales and Marketing for Fernham Homes, comments:

“Young children are looking to get more involved in making a difference when it comes to climate change. Walking to school is a simple way to achieve this, but it is very important to stay visible whilst doing so. We are extremely proud to be able to support the pupils of Boughton Monchelsea Primary School, who are based just along the road from our development, in their road safety education. We have also installed a puffin crossing, which we hope will make the children’s journeys even safer.”

On Friday 1st November, the children from Year 5 and Lyra the dog put their road safety skills to the test and visited the housebuilder’s Boughton Park development. They took great care in crossing the road when walking to the development and their reflective gear came in handy on their return to the school. The children enjoyed refreshments in a completed property, whilst part of the construction site had also been fenced off, to give the children chance to look safely at the machinery, which included a digger and a forklift.

Ruth Roberts, Headteacher at Boughton Monchelsea Primary School adds: “We would like to thank Fernham Homes for their generous donation of reflective gear to our Year 5 pupils and to Lyra the dog. The children have all had a wonderful time seeing what goes on behind the hoarding and will be able to walk to and from school more safely thanks to their new armbands.”

Healthier Lifestyle at Clean and Green Empire Park

IT’S not surprising that parents worry about children spending too long on their screens and too little time playing outside. Research suggests that not only is the average child heavier, weaker and less fit than 18 years ago1, but just 22% of children take enough exercise outside of school, spending around four hours a day on screen compared with only an hour and half in active play2. In fact, shocking figures3 suggest that three quarters of British children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates!

Add to that worries about mental health of young people spending all their time on social media4 and it’s clear that developments where children can safely play and roam have a big part to play in improving the health of the next generation.

One place where children are happily enjoying the great outdoors is Fernham Homes’ Empire Park development at Greenhithe, part of the exciting new Ebbsfleet Garden City masterplan. It’s where Vikki Goodwin, 34, and her children Eve and Logan, aged six and two, have made their new home – and former teacher Vikki is delighted at how the move will help her children to have freer and more active lives.

“We used to live in Swanley, which is only 10 minutes’ drive away, but it’s nowhere near such a nice area. I didn’t want to stay there as the kids got older, as I knew I would always be worrying about their safety,” she says. “The whole environment is so much better at Empire Park. I’ve already met the neighbours, and it’s lovely to see all the children playing together outside, running in and out of each other’s houses and being able to go out on their scooters and bikes in a safe environment. Our big garden is also perfect for the kids, and seeing them running around happily out there makes me confident that I made the right choice to move here.”

Vikki, who now works as an administrator for a stonework and restoration company and as a personal organiser in her spare time, sold a three-bedroom semi-detached home and upsized to a four-bedroom detached property at Empire Park. She liked the Ebbsfleet Garden City area, but found that some of the developments were rather too large and impersonal for her taste. Instead, she loved Fernham’s more human scale, with just 28 new homes, as well as the personal touch from sales staff who helped her to sell and complete on the new property in a whistlestop 10 weeks.

Because she bought her property at an early stage, Vikki was able to personalise aspects of it to her taste. For example, she could choose the colours of her kitchen, with grey gloss and a geometric patterned floor, to make the heart of the house just the way she liked it.

As well as the gardens and green areas at Empire Park itself, Ebbsfleet Garden City as a whole has seven different parks with impressive views and new Thames-side walkways that will give the public access to the waterfront for the first time in more than a century. Beacon Wood Country Park and Swanscombe Heritage Park are also close by, offering lots more possibilities for youngsters to let off steam. Bluewater shopping centre is just two miles away and has 300 shops, 50 restaurants, a 17-screen cinema and an adventure park and soft play for the kids.

Homes at Empire Park are selling fast, thanks not only to the green spaces, but also the great location, just 10 minutes’ drive from Ebbsfleet International station. As well as direct links into Europe, the station also offers high speed services into central London taking from just 17 minutes. The stations of Greenhithe and Swanscombe, which also offer trains into the capital, are within walking distance, and there’s a new network of cycle paths, bus routes and walkways that have been designed as part of the Government’s Healthy New Towns initiative at Ebbsfleet.

Lynne Smith, Head of Sales & Marketing at Fernham Homes, comments: “Empire Park has so much to offer families who are looking for a healthier lifestyle with plenty of outdoor space, but need to be within easy reach of London. The commute is short, giving families more time to spend together, and the house prices are a pleasant surprise in comparison with the London market – house hunters will be amazed how much space they get for their money here.”

The development at Empire Park features a mix of detached and semi-detached three, four and five-bedroom homes, all with their own gardens, complete with turf and patio, and either garages or parking spaces. Inside, the homes include Bosch integrated appliances in the kitchens, energy-efficient boilers and elegant bathrooms. Homes start from £420,000 for a three-bedroom house, with Help to Buy available. For more information, or to arrange an appointment to visit the show suite, call 01322 472 917 or visit