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Building for Life Silver Standard for Design Excellence

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30 January 2004

At South at Didsbury Point, developer Countryside Properties, has successfully achieved contemporary urban housing in a suburban setting.

The Building for Life judges.

Countryside Properties PLC has been awarded a Building for Life Silver Standard for excellence in design quality at the Group's 'South at Didsbury Point' development in West Didsbury, Manchester.

Building for Life is the national standard for well-designed housing and neighbourhoods and is a tripartite initiative between the House Builders Federation, CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) and the Civic Trust. It aims to help consumers identify new housing schemes that are committed to high quality design standards. Individual housing schemes are assessed against a number of criteria, including character, roads, parking and pedestrianisation, design and construction, their environmental impact and creating a sense of community.

Ann Lever, Sales and Marketing Director of Countryside Properties’ North West division, comments, “Together with our architects, we have made a real effort to create homes of lasting value that people feel comfortable living in. Many house purchasers do not want to compromise on space when they buy a newly built home, which is why so many prefer old properties. The innovative new homes that we are creating at South illustrate that contemporary design can deliver traditional, yet flexible living spaces.

Building for Life judges said, "At South at Didsbury Point, developer Countryside Properties, has successfully achieved contemporary urban housing in a suburban setting. These homes succeed in the areas applauded by Building for Life; ground floors have terraced gardens and upper storeys large terraces and balconies. The sense of community is enhanced by the clever positioning of the parking spaces; placed at the back allowing an intimate relationship between the neighbours at the front over a landscaped avenue. The whole context of the scheme is unified with the surrounding area through the use of indigenous red brick, however, the introduction of other materials including timber, render and slate give the scheme variety and unique identity."

'South' comprises apartments, duplexes and townhouses that offer highly contemporary, open-plan flexible living spaces. The interiors of the homes at South have been personally styled by highly acclaimed international fashion designer Ben de Lisi, who has created living spaces that reflect both the modern exteriors and the eclectic atmosphere of Didsbury. Many of the homes benefit from large open-plan living areas that, together with the extensive use of glazing, accentuate the space within the properties.

Wayne Hemingway, Chairman of Building for Life, comments, "We can buy wonderfully designed products from clothes to cars at prices that suit all pockets, but when it comes to what I consider to be the most important and life affecting purchase, our home, this sadly hasn't been the case. But the fact that we are able to offer a number of awards this year is a sign that there is hope. There are, however, hundreds of housing developments that are currently being built that don’t approach the Building for Life Standard and we urge housebuilders and planners to ensure that improvements continue, and we urge the public to demand more."

South’s Marketing Suite is open daily from 11.00am to 6pm daily. The 1, 2, 4 and 5 bedroom homes range in price from £151,950 to £664,950. For further information and an appointment to view, contact the marketing suite on 0161 434 9953. Alternatively, visit the Countryside Properties' website at or email

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Information correct as at 30/01/2004