A DESIGN-led development company has come of age as Bewley Homes celebrates its 21st anniversary.

Back in 1991, the UK housing market was in the grip of a recession, but undaunted, Bewley Homes embarked upon its first development with six new-build flats and houses in Basingstoke.

With the project successfully completed, the company began work on another, larger site.

But with other established developers building in the same area, it rapidly became clear to Colin Brooks, chairman of Bewley Homes plc, that there was little to distinguish the competing companies’ offerings.

“I realised then that the key to success was to be different,” recalled Colin. “And I knew that I wanted Bewley to be different by design.”

From that day on, “distinctive design” became the cornerstone of every Bewley home.

The designs are always sensitive to their surr-oundings, which can vary from listed buildings, village locations or urban surroundings.

The sensitivity of Bewley’s approach has been recognised by the many national awards they have won, and by planning committees. Over the past five years, 96 per cent of all of Bewley’s applica-tions have gained a planning consent.

This ‘built-in tradition’ is a key part of the company’s ethos, as is a proactive approach to the sustainable solutions demanded by today’s national house-building policy.

“We embrace the requirements,” said Colin. “And we are really quite passionate about incorporating technological innovations.

“These days our developments tend to range between 20 and 100 units, but we span everything from one-bedroom flats to multi-million pound houses.”

He attributes a key part of the success of Bewley Homes, which is based at Inhurst House, in Brimpton Road, Baughurst, to the commitment and continuity of its employees, many of whom have been with the company for 10 to 20 years.

Colin said: “They don’t have to be instructed in the Bewley values. They have them instinctively because they have a genuine passion for what they build.”

Having successfully weathered the recent eco-nomic downturn and troubled housing market over the past few years, Colin is optimistic for the future.

“There is a market – sales have stood up well and confidence has returned.”

Bewley Homes forecasts a turnover in excess of £100million next year and this confidence is well founded.

“The company has certainly come a long way in 21 years – and like the properties we create, it’s built to stand the test of time,” said Colin.