Chris Gleave, founder of Gleave Homes, takes a very personal approach to every property he builds
- Credit: Archant
Chris Gleave founded his property development business in 2004, with the aim of building homes that buyers would want to live in forever.
This ethos runs like DNA through every decision he makes, from choosing the land on which to build his homes to giving buyers the opportunity to make it their very own before even the first brick is laid.
“Our first development was seven houses in Lymm,” Chris says. “Since then we have built 52 homes across Cheshire and South Manchester. Three years ago I decided to expand the business, establishing a core team, and am now running a portfolio of 26 new homes across three developments in Agden Green in Lymm, Cherry Lane Farm in Rode Heath and Waters Edge in Brereton Heath. We choose the locations very carefully; we have a very specific criteria for where we will build – it needs to be somewhere that offers beautiful views, close to transport links and on the edge of a popular town or village, giving our buyers the lifestyle they seek. We look at redundant space, such as an old yard or farm; by choosing to build on land that was once in use but has no longer any purpose we can ensure we aren’t infringing upon the natural beauty of an area. When we go and view potential sites, we ask ourselves how can we transform it and elevate it to something beautiful and give life back to somewhere unloved. Often we will purchase land on which Planning Permission for a given number of dwellings has already been granted, then simply start again with our own plans and designs. It’s never about shortcuts, or just throwing up as many houses as will fit in a space. It’s about keeping with our brand and delivering a high quality product.
“We take the same stance in the design of our homes. It’s our view that properties that sit in a rural or semi-rural environment should reflect that. We design them to look old with traditional aspects on the outside – a part of the landscape, not something shiny and new. The interiors however are designed for contemporary open plan living.”
Chris, and his wife Emma, who joined the business two years ago, leaving her role as a commercial IT director in the pharmaceutical industry, work very closely with the architects designing every single property on their sites, with new designs being drafted for every new project the couple commence.
“It’s very unusual for us to ever replicate a home,” Emma says. “Each one is bespoke to its environment externally and Chris works very closely with the architects to ensure that his vision is delivered as he sees it. The devil is in the detail, and we spend every moment in consideration of how what we build will enhance, not just serve, our buyers lifestyles.”
It’s this focus on the end customer that has led to Gleave Homes experiencing so much interest from buyers before the properties are even built, a fact which then allows Chris and Emma to offer a highly bespoke service to new homeowners.
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“We work very closely with our buyers to accommodate their wishes, when they are buying off-plan, when there is still the opportunity to be flexible with layout and fittings. It’s a lot of hard work; when you’re working with multiple buyers with multiple different sets of wants and wishes...but it’s worth it. If someone wants a bigger utility for their dogs, or a home office with extra power sockets and cabling, we do it. Every client has their own story and their own needs to deliver the lifestyle they want and we can model the house to suit those needs.”
At the time of writing, Chris and Emma are feeling quite delighted about the response to their Waters Edge development in Brereton Heath, where just three homes remain available, and Cherry Lane in Rode Heath, which sold out exceptionally quickly.
The most recent release from Gleave Homes is from their Agden Green development in Lymm, where if you move fast you can grab one of their houses off-plan, and assure yourself of the attention to detail and willingness to custom-tweak the designs to suit your needs that Gleave Homes has built its reputation on.
“It’s a beautiful rural location,” says Chris. “And as part of the developments we are also building some serviced office space. The desire for and need for office and meeting space away from the cities, where people can work occasionally or meet clients, is growing, and we can’t think of a more beautiful location to answer the need.”
Chris and Emma will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about their developments or to arrange a visit to a showhome. Visit gleavehomes.co.uk or call 01625 783861.