At Inland, ensuring sustainable operations and development is of paramount importance. Our caring attitude to our colleagues, partners and the communities and environments in which we work means we strive to function in a way that is best for everyone.
Our key values of integrity, openness and trust dictate our interactions with each of our major stakeholder groups:
- local and national government
- the environment
The value we place on meeting the needs of each of our stakeholder groups intuitively informs all of our policies. With sustainability at the heart of everything we do, the following six areas describe our main focuses, and include many of our achievements.
Caring for the wider community permeates all our activities, and our core focus of transforming potentially contaminated land into desirable family homes and community spaces is always undertaken with the needs of future residents and neighbours firmly in mind. We put a significant amount of effort into ensuring that a development looks attractive through hard and soft landscaping of the site.
At Inland, we support a number of charities and community organisations, including:
Inland are supporters of The British Institute of Brain Injured Children (BIBIC) who are a national charity offering practical help to families caring for children with conditions like autism, aspergers, cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome, developmental delay, brain injury, and specific learning difficulties like ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia.
Inland makes regular donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and attends their fundraising events. This charity tries to make wishes of children and young people fighting life-threatening, sometimes terminal illnesses, come true.
Beaconsfield Cricket Club
We are delighted to be the main sponsor of Beaconsfield Cricket Club, whose first team play in Division 1 of the Thames Valley League.
Basildon Football Club
We are currently sponsors of Basildon Football Club.
This year we have raised over £7,000 for these charities:
- HCPT Group 170
- Teens Unite Fighting Cancer
- Dennis Wise & Frankham Group Charitable Trust
Last year we completed the 5k Colour Obstacle Rush, raising over £8,000 each for:
- The Nephrotic Syndrome Trust
London Taxi Driver's Fund for Underprivileged Children
We donated £3,000 to pay for their taxi safari around Wooburn Safari Park.
National Autistic Society
2 senior members of staff ran the London Marathon and raised over £22,000.
The following use the site for training regularly free of charge:
- Thames Valley Police firearms training
- Thames Valley Police dog training
- Metropolitan Police dog training
- National training support group (prison service)
- Buckinghamshire Police Fire and Rescue
Chelsea Flower Show
Inland Homes plc's sponsored garden 'Under a Mexican Sky' won a Silver Gilt award.
Ensuring customers have a positive experience throughout their interaction with us increases the likelihood of recurring project partnerships with developers, and repeat custom or recommendations from homeowners. Our strong reputation for quality, reliability and delivery leads to many opportunities, for example, land vendors trust Inland to honour promises and offer sales opportunities, while council and community groups seriously consider our bids knowing we have the capability to transform difficult sites.
Our Customer Service procedure ensures that in the unlikely event a customer is dissatisfied for whatever reason, we are able to quickly respond and deal with the issue.
Our process means that whether the development is self-delivery or contractor led, we can ensure that the issue or enquiry is forwarded directly to the correct personnel where it will be acknowledged and the matter progressed to resolution.
There is a dedicated Customer Service mailbox for each development which enables the Customer Service team to log all reported issues and enquiries on dedicated trackers to ensure that the issues are monitored from receipt to completion and that the customer remains informed.
The Customer Service Managers will attend face-to-face meetings with customers, where appropriate, to discuss and inspect reported issues first hand and make immediate determinations as to the resolution required.
Our small and professional team will seek to resolve all customer issues with empathy and expediency.
The principles of lifetime homes are incorporated into all of our developments, which means that our homes are designed to be easily adaptable for lifetime use at minimal cost. The relationship with homeowners also continues after the sale of a house, with close monitoring and support provided, and customer feedback used to improve future projects. Customer feedback has been used to improve the design of our homes, with the layout of certain rooms (for example the bathroom) changing to better suit the needs of our customers.
Health and Safety
In previous years we have relied on Health and Safety consultants to ensure that our sites are safe, reporting any problems they have back to us. Whilst this has always ensured we are fully compliant with Health and Safety regulations, as we are growing in the number of self-delivery projects we undertake, we felt it was important that we expand our Health and Safety remit. We have therefore directly appointed a new Head of Health & Safety to manage this key part of the business and ensure that standards and culture are of a high level.
We have been joined by key individuals whose experience, coupled with the development knowledge of current Inland Homes employees, ensures that we can begin to make improvements to this area. We recognise that for these improvements to be sustainable we must ensure that the culture and behaviours we expect on our sites are consistently communicated.
Earlier in the year a Steering Group of 10, including three directors, was set up to share experiences of Health and Safety and decide which areas were a priority to tackle, with information and suggestions being peer reviewed. Important elements such as pedestrian access, document control and site signage have been addressed ensuring that each Inland Homes development has a consistent look and feel. The Group will meet regularly to review performance and embrace continual improvement.
In the coming year we will focus on working with our Supply Chain to ensure that their standards meet our expectations. Initiatives in the pipeline include behavioural training, awareness campaigns, initiative weeks and minimum training expectations and we expect to see the benefits of engagement with the Supply Chain across the business.
The benefits that improving our Health and Safety can bring extends beyond the physical safety of our employees. Ensuring good practices encourages others to work with us, improves the quality of the work produced on site and assists with raising our risk profile to insurers, helping the business to be successful and profitable.
As we have continued to successfully move into self-delivery of projects, we have reduced the number of main contractors who build the whole sites. With seven self-delivered sites we now have a much larger supply chain of individual trades and whilst last year our focus was on acquiring these partnerships, this year we will focus on building these relationships.
One way in which we will achieve this is by hosting Inland Homes' first Supply Chain Conference in November 2017. Attendees will include current sub-contractors who work for Inland along with those who may wish to work for us in the future. Outlining what Inland Homes does, our culture and our ethos and what projects we have in the upcoming year will help us to solidify existing relationships and help form new ones.
The relationships between Inland Homes and our subcontractors are based on partnerships as opposed to a one sided arrangement. We are keen to support our regional supply chain, appreciating the differences in the way people work and offering flexibility with those where appropriate. For example, there might be a situation where a subcontractor pays their staff weekly, so we are able to offer fortnightly payments.
Supporting and encouraging our supply chain is very important to us, and we actively encourage apprenticeships within the business. We have recently employed two apprentice site managers and, in time, we will be expanding this to employing apprentices for trades and placing them with our subcontractors to be trained. It is vital that we continue to support the development of apprentices and new starters to ensure that the supply chain remains sustainable.
Last year we reported that some of our principal contractors had won awards at the LABC Bricks awards. This year we are pleased to announce that Inland's first self-delivery site Meridian Waterside has won a regional LABC Bricks Development of the Year with us going through to the national awards in October 2017.
Planning the sustainability of developments begins at the earliest stages of a project, when potential sites are assessed — for example, considering what materials are present on the site and if these could be reused in construction. Throughout the planning of the infrastructure, buildings, and construction strategies, sustainability is a core focus, and decisions are taken which make both financial and ecological sense. On larger projects we have the scope to undertake ambitious sustainability projects, such as installing energy centres, and all of our projects use a range of environmentally friendly materials and construction methods.
As we now predominantly self-deliver our sites, we have gained greater control over developments. At all of our self-delivery sites, we avoid using mixed use skips so that we can segregate waste. This means that it is easier for the waste to be recycled, reducing the amount that goes to landfill. We are trying to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions through a number of initiatives, such as having eco-friendly site accommodation and ensuring that we are always using electricity from the main grid supply, rather than using a generator.
We have always prided ourselves on our supporting and caring culture. As we grow as a Group, and more employees are working on various sites, we feel it is important to communicate this culture across the business, regardless of geographic location.
The warmth of atmosphere and pride individuals take in working for Inland Homes is what encourages people to stay with us and ensure that our team remains strong into the future.
As Inland Homes has grown over the last 18 months, our team has developed from 28 to 90 members of staff, with around 55 on site. A challenge with this growth is ensuring that Inland's culture is communicated effectively both within our offices and on our sites. We are facing this challenge through investing in elements such as a staff intranet to ensure that no-one feels isolated whilst working at Inland Homes.
Bringing new talent into the company is hugely important, as there is a general shortage of labour across all roles within the property industry. We are passionate about developing the next generation of workers, whether they be in our offices or working with our subcontractors on site. We hire both graduates and apprentices and offer work experience to students where there is a potential of a permanent role at the end.
Along with hiring new talent, we are dedicated to developing the skills of our existing employees. This may be through offering them responsibility, having the opportunity to learn from others within the Group and through supporting them to do external qualifications.
Gary Magee Planning Manager
I joined Inland Homes shortly after completing a masters degree in Spatial Regeneration at Queen's University Belfast and have worked here for four years. I originally joined as an Assistant Planner, and I was then promoted to the role of Planner. I am now a Planning Manager within the Inland Planning and Design department.
With the financial support of Inland Homes, two years ago I became a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and I am now working towards becoming a Chartered Planner, a qualification that I would like to achieve by the end of 2018. The support I have received from Inland Homes has been vital to my development. Along with practical experience, the Group has supported and encouraged me to attend planning seminars and conferences which has been hugely beneficial to my professional development whilst ensuring I keep abreast of changes to planning policies and regulations which I can then apply to my work. Gaining formal recognition of the experience and skills I have acquired through becoming a Chartered Planner will be hugely advantageous to my personal development but will also aid in continuing to create a strong and skilled team within the Inland Planning and Design department.
The experience I have gained since working at Inland Homes has been amazing, having received responsibility and ownership of projects early on in my career. Whilst the business has grown considerably over the last 18 months, the consistent leadership has been hugely beneficial and the ability to have direct communication with the Leadership team is a special characteristic of Inland Homes.
- Investor Relations Society Best Practice Awards 2016
- Best Digital Reporting for Small Cap & AIM
- South Coast Property Awards 2016
- Housebuilder of the Year
- Best Regeneration Project
- Housebuilder Awards 2016
- Best low or zero carbon initiative
- South Coast Property Awards 2016
- Thames Valley Property Awards
- Housebuilder of the Year
- Development of the Year
- Regeneration Project of the Year
- Chelsea Flower Show
- Silver Gilt award for 'Inland Homes' Under a Mexican Sky'
- London Stock Exchange
- Named as one of the prestigious '1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain'
- Corporate and Financial Awards
- Bronze award for the Best Online Report: AIM/small cap
- South Coast Property Awards 2017
- Best Regeneration Project
- South Coast Property Awards 2017