Romsey: Highwood celebrates successes and looks ahead to 2020

Highwood, the Romsey-based housebuilder and care home developer, has crowned another year of project successes and a clutch of award wins with a leap into the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table and a ranking of 53 – up from 74th in 2018.

With the political uncertainty of 2019 and its ramifications on an already cautious property industry, one would suspect that a regional development company would struggle to make its mark in the national corporate arena. Yet Highwood has achieved just that by remaining one of the country’s most dynamic, fastest-growing businesses for a second consecutive year.

Highwood was formed amid humble beginnings as a local property developer in the mid-eighties by three founding directors who were childhood friends and today remain integral drivers of the organisation’s strategy. Unsurprisingly, Highwood’s status as regional Housebuilder of the Year and its continued Fast Track recognition naturally represents something of a pinnacle in its fortunes.

“Richard Branson rightly points to the Fast Track 100 as a barometer of private business growth,” said Highwood founder and CEO, Nigel Meek. “To achieve recognition as one of the top private companies in the UK today is a remarkable reflection of both our business strategy and the superlative efforts of the hugely talented teams at Highwood who deliver outstanding results for us every year.

“Since our early years when we were considered visionaries in our approach to securing forward-thinking planning for high-quality buildings that relied on sustainable, yet ingenious practices on greenfield sites, the Highwood name has become synonymous with beautiful houses and care home schemes. Today, we’ve been instrumental in delivering a number of powerful infrastructure-led projects, including North Stoneham Park, which has captured the imagination of the property industry and is now recognised as a multi-award-winning landmark community scheme. The Park is also now making waves thanks to the creation of 130 new jobs, which, along with a much-needed housing provision, is a welcome boost for Eastleigh.

“In 2020 we’ll continue to apply that visionary approach to strategic land acquisition and development by honouring our commitment to sustainability and environmentally sensitive practices and projects as the calibre of our initiatives and our ability to deliver groundbreaking schemes continues to thrive.”

Highwood has recently submitted a number of high-profile planning applications, including its Mansion House site at North Stoneham Park that will see a collection of substantial three, four and five-bedroom luxury homes built in the grounds of the former old mansion to the south of the 26-acre Stoneham site. Also under consideration by council planners for Stoneham is the North Stoneham Care Village, which comprises a landmark 40-bedroom care home, 40 assisted living units and up to 82 independent living apartments to meet the housing and care needs of Eastleigh’s ageing population.

Perhaps closest to Highwood’s heart is the application to create a prestigious headquarters building on the site of the organisation’s existing base in Hoe Lane, close to Romsey. In addition to creating new jobs for the town and, in the longer term, for Highwood, the new state-of-the-art headquarters has been designed to be completely ‘zero energy’ with plans for solar power generation using the latest power storage solutions, the introduction of electric cars into its fleet and a multitude of pioneering energy-efficient technologies.

Highwood says that due to the robust platform that the company has established over recent years, the next decade is set to herald a further period of significant growth. With a commitment to strengthening its partnership approach to development, there will be renewed focus on the environment, sustainability and the visionary stance that has taken Highwood beyond the industry’s traditional comfort zone so successfully.