Blenheim Grove video – The launch

Blenheim Grove is our inaugural custom build development in Peckham. It’s been a long road to even get to the starting point, and in this video our MD Gus Zogolovitch talks about how we found the site, got all the permissions, and what is in store for the development! 

Check back often as we will be posting videos of our progress throughout the build.

Video transcript:

Hi everyone, my name’s Gus Zogolovitch and I run Unboxed Homes. We’re London’s first custom build developer.
So today I’m talking about Blenheim Grove.
Blenheim Grove is a site that we’ve owned for a few years, and finally we’re actually starting to build it. So let me tell you a little bit about the history and about what we’re trying to do here.
Some local architects, they’re called Poulsom Middlehurst, actually had been walking past this rather unloved bit of land for many years. Brought it to our attention. We tried to contact the owner. After a long paper trail we managed to locate the owner. And found out that he was interested in selling.
After probably about a year and a half to two years of negotiation we finally did the deal. We were lucky enough to manage to get some money from the GLA because they believed in what we’re trying to do. They believe in custom build and self build.
That very happy day back in January 2015 we secured the deal. I didn’t tell my wife at the time but actually I’d put some collateral up that meant if the GLA hadn’t come through with the funding we would have been pretty much bankrupt.
After about 4 months of chasing they came up with the funding with 2 days to spare. So you can imagine that rather dreary and grey day in January I was quite excited to a) not be bankrupt and b) own a bit of scrub land in Peckham.
Fast forward we applied for planning permission for 5 houses. The planners were very pleased with what we were trying to do, and we managed to get planning permission relatively quickly. We were very excited, we got lots of people interested and started talking to our contractors.
The contractors have to get all the consents. They started talking to Network Rail. As you can see this is the railway. This is Blenheim Grove along here and this is the bit of the platform from the viaduct on which this train track rests. And because of that we need to get Network Rail consents.
I thought that the Network Rail consent would be relatively straight forward. Unfortunately, it’s taken us 3 years, we’re now on our 3rd contractor, and we finally, finally got through consents a few weeks ago. And that means we can actually get going on site. And that’s very exciting for us.
We’ve been doing some initial works and we’re getting going very shortly.
So let me tell you a bit about the scheme. It is a custom build scheme. It’s for 5 houses as I mentioned, one two three four five. These 2 have also got permission to build into 4 flats should people want them as flats or as houses.
These 3 have roof terraces and front gardens. And these have front gardens, roof terraces, and a back terrace.
In the inside, what we’re doing is we’re selling these as shells.
What’s a shell?
Well the shell is what you get when you take a house and you rip everything out. It gives people total flexibility as to what they want to do on the inside. And it saves them money. And it allows them to build the dream home that they’ve always wanted.
We think the savings are in the region of 20 to maybe even 30% of a new cost of a new house elsewhere. And we’re very excited to see the end product.
So thank you for watching, this is the first in what we anticipate to be a series of videos about Blenheim Grove and about the journey that we are undertaking. If you like it’s our Unboxed Homes version of Grand Designs.
So next time I’m hoping to bring you guys to site and so we can actually see the piling rig in action, and then after the piling we’ll be able to see the ground works and some digging out the basements. And from there we’ll see the timber frame go up and the brickworks go up and the windows go in, the roof go in. And that’s pretty much the shell complete.
And then if we’re lucky I’m hoping then to be able to pop in on residents and purchasers as they build out their dream homes.
If you liked the video and you’re interested in the journey that we’re embarking on and you’re interested in the nitty gritty of what happens behind the scenes at a custom build developer then please subscribe to one of our channels.
We will be promoting these videos as they come out, or subscribe to our newsletter, whatever it is is your thing. And I look forward to seeing you next time.
Thanks for watching, see you later.

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