Achieving his second NHBC Pride in the Job Quality accolade, which he describes as “the pinnacle” of his career, is Michael Keely, site manager at Bellway Homes’ Wynyard Woods development in Teeside.
He puts his success down to “Maintaining a very high standard at all stages of construction – from start in the ground to completion. NHBC inspections can take place at any stage, so it is important to maintain quality in order to be put forward for an award,” he said. “Good health and safety standards are also important, along with good quality compound facilities for site operatives and a good tidy site.”
“I have an excellent team working with me and we will be celebrating with a party after the NHBC awards ceremony,” said Michael, who has been congratulated by directors and the chief executive of his company.
He started his career in 1973 after leaving school to become an apprentice joiner. He then worked for Sunderland Council Housing Maintenance Department, before becoming a site manager at the age of 30. He has been with Bellway for just over a year, after joining the company last May.
The development comprises high specification high quality four, five and six bedroom properties and has been on site in phases for the last 16 years.
The homes are set within the exclusive community of Wynyard Woods, once the seat of aristocracy and graced by visiting royals. The Wynyard Estate and its hall has been described as ‘the most splendid 19th century mansion house in the country’ and is now a unique village set in 5,000 acres of original parkland and woodland.
One element of the development, Kensington Mansions, is an inspirational collection of 22 magnificent four and five bedroom homes. Each house is defined by space and high specification to provide a slice of country house living in a modern luxury home, within a quintessential village setting which includes a local pub; shops and hairdressers; a cricket club and summer fetes.
All of the properties boast an impressive luxury specification – for example the Bridgewater, Dorchester, Portchester and Winchester house types all feature luxury fitted kitchens complete with a range cooker, an American style fridge/freezer, a microwave and a wine cooler. All of these properties also include steel front and rear doors; fully automatic garage doors with an electric motor and remote control; a security alarm; oak internal doors with polished chrome handles and interior designed bathrooms and en suites that are individual to each house type.
On the outskirts of the market town of Billingham – which hosts its own forum theatre, art gallery and an international folklore festival drawing participants from Spain to the Ukraine – Wynyard is also just six miles from Stockton-on-Tees with its broad pedestrianised high street, Castlegate and Wellington Square Malls, and a wide choice of restaurants.
The nearby Teeside Retail Park and Leisure complex boasts a 14 screen cinema, bowling alley and wealth of restaurants – offering entertainment on a big scale.
The surrounding area of Kensington Mansions is awash with outdoor activities from white water rafting at Tees Barrage to canoeing, paddle sports and power boat sailing at places like Castlegate Quay ad the River Tees Watersport centre. The acres of space around Kensington Mansions include the colourful meadows and wetlands of Billingham Beck country park, Cowpen Bewley’s woodland and Preston Park.
The old freight-train route is now Wynyard Woodland Park, which encompasses paths, ancient country crafts events from weaving to woodturning, and even an observatory with a planetarium. The area is ideal for golfing, with the Eaglescliffe and Billingham Golf Clubs and the Wellington Course, named after the famous general, at Wynyard’s own club – a championship course hosting major events from the Seve Trophy to European tours.
The nearby coast includes wildlife reserves including Seal Sands and its colony of grey seals.
The Bellway Group has provided more than 100,000 homes since it was formed in 1946 and is one of the largest house builders in the country with operations spanning the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
The company employs around 1,400 people with expertise covering a range of development disciplines. Key activities include: land acquisition, finance, planning, architecture, design, build management, marketing and customer service.
Bellway homes are designed, built and marketed by local teams operating in regional offices managed and staffed by local people. This allows the company to stay close to its customers and to make key decisions about design, build, materials, planning and marketing in response to local and not national demands.
Designers and other consultants tend to be local, which makes for house designs with a strong regional identity that is in tune with the local vernacular.