New live/work homes at Finberry, Ashford

Award-winning developer Crest Nicholson has announced the launch of nine live/work homes at its Finberry development in Ashford, Kent. The properties are designed to give people who already own an established small business or dream of setting one up, the opportunity to run a company from their own premises. Specially designed to combine modern, open-plan living space on the first and second floors, and a purpose-built workspace on the ground floor, these homes offer residents the best of both worlds.

With the increased focus on flexible working in the UK and the rising number of start-ups, the properties will allow Ashford residents to achieve an improved work-life balance while saving on overheads such as office rent, parking and commuting costs. Kent as the county has experienced a significant increase in start-ups, seeing a 4.7% growth year-on-year in 2016*.

The properties are based in the Village Centre, the fourth phase of Finberry, a new village surrounded by ancient woodland and countryside that will comprise 1,100 homes once complete. Residents can benefit from Finberry Primary School, a state-of-the-art facility which opened in September 2017, as well as a range of other community amenities, including shops and a community centre coming soon to the development. An extensive network of dedicated bus and cycle routes will also link Finberry to Ashford town centre.

The live/work homes fit seamlessly into this already-established, 21st century development. The homes benefit from high-specification interiors including kitchens with fully-integrated appliances, and bathrooms fitted with contemporary Roca Gap sanitaryware. Energy-efficient gas fired central heating meanwhile, means that residents can expect cheaper energy bills.

Cllr Paul Clokie, Ashford Borough Council portfolio holder for planning, said:

“From the outset of the Finberry project, we were keen to see a number of homes with ground floor workspace included in the scheme which is now being constructed by Crest Nicholson. I’m delighted to see that these properties are now on the market. They add to the character of the emerging local centre and provide opportunities for people to start up a business in high quality surroundings which, hopefully will grow and prosper, perhaps leading them to expand into a larger business premises elsewhere in the town.

Annette Cole, Sales and Marketing Director at Crest Nicholson Eastern, said:

“There are a large number of small businesses and start-ups in the county, with 89.8% of businesses in Kent classed as “micro-businesses”**, meaning they have just 0-9 employees. We’ve created the live/work units to meet demand in Kent for new styles of homes to suit adapting lifestyles.

“The properties could work for a range of businesses – from small architectural practices and regional accountancy firms, to artists’ studios or wedding planners. Money and time saved on commuting could be spent walking the dog, dropping the children to school, doing an exercise class and just generally having a better work/ life balance. The homes provide an exceptional working environment for residents, as they have been tailored to suit the needs of small business owners.”

Jo James, Chief Executive, Invicta Chamber of Commerce:

“I am delighted to see additional live/work home being built in the borough. With increasing entrepreneurs setting up business in Ashford, they certainly meet a growing demand. Situated within the Finberry development they will be perfectly positioned to allow the businesses to be part of a thriving community set in a quality environment.”