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John Prescott & CABE back homes at Abode

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23 July 2003

I think you have got the wow factor here. I'm absolutely delighted to be here, to be associated with something of quality, something of excitement, something of design. I've got a vision now. I’ve just seen it.

Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott & CABE have given their backing to Copthorn Homes' (a part of Countryside Properties) new housing development, abode in Harlow, Essex.

The Deputy Prime Minister visited abode recently and awarded Copthorn Homes and the landowners, Newhall Projects Ltd, with the inaugural Building for Life Gold Standard. Building for Life is a joint initiative from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), House Builders Federation and the Civic Trust. This award is in recognition of abode achieving the high standards expected from the Government's Sustainable Communities Plan.

Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott said, "I think you have got the wow factor here. I'm absolutely delighted to be here, to be associated with something of quality, something of excitement, something of design. I've got a vision now. I’ve just seen it. I hope all our planners will start beating their way to come and look how you can use different materials, different designs, how community can live with higher densities."

Group Chairman, Alan Cherry who received the award from the Deputy Prime Minister commented, "I'm delighted by the encouraging comments John Prescott made about adobe. He was genuinely impressed by our homes here. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in abode for creating a development of such merit."

abode proves that high-density housing on a large greenfield site can be attractive, individual and appealing to homebuyers. Abode's contemporary design is based on traditional values and materials such as thatch and welsh slate. It combines them with modern construction methods to create individual and appealing new homes that are part of a unified whole.

The hierarchy of streets, lanes and mews incorporate home zones where all residents are encouraged to enjoy the space and car parking has been absorbed within the homes to prioritise pedestrians and the street scene.

Privacy for residents within the high density scheme has been achieved through the use of private roof terraces, balconies with louvered screens and walled gardens.

Abode is highly innovative in its use of flexible space. The homes offer open-plan layouts, rooms in the roof, split levels, double height space and even sliding walls to allow space to constantly change and adapt to function.

Rooms are filled with natural light through full and double height glazing features, projecting high level bays, and garden rooms that blur boundaries between internal and external space.

There are a wide variety of homes, from one and two bedroom apartments, to one, two and three bedroom mews houses, and two to five bedroom houses. The success of our progressive approach at Abode is evidenced by the fact that the development is strongly forward sold.

Tony Travers, Managing Director of Copthorn Homes commented, "We are delighted that the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, chose to highlight abode as a prime example of best practice in the Sustainable Communities Plan. At abode, we have shown that high-density housing need not be little boxes crammed together on soulless estates. abode epitomises the company's philosophy of providing urban chic, craftsmanship and design at a value attainable by the average home buyer, whilst still respecting local architectural styles."

Mark Field, one of the first purchasers said: "I was knocked out by the stunning modern designs and loved the fact that every home is different. This means that, although the houses are close together, when I look out of my window I see interesting architecture, not just a flat wall. Also, having lived in South Africa, I was looking for a home that would maximise the natural light.

"Most people never get the chance to live in a one-off, architect designed home - buying into abode I feel I have done just that!" he said.

Tony Travers added, "These homes are a successful combination of top quality architecture with creative, modern, high density house building. The range of houses at abode challenges the preconceptions of conventional housing developments and offers a real lifestyle change for purchasers. It is a visually stimulating and invigorating place to live."

Although abode is set in Essex countryside, it is a short drive from Harlow town centre and junction 7 of the M11 motorway, providing fast access to the M25 and London, only 25 miles south, and Cambridge, less than 40 miles away. Frequent trains run from London's Liverpool Street Station to Harlow, taking approximately 35 minutes.

Prices at abode range from 145,000 to 450,000. Further information can be obtained by visiting the new show home which is open daily, from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm, or calling the sales centre on 01279 639309 or by visiting the abode website at

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Information correct as at 23/07/2003