Keeping it local - an insight into our latest video
Thanks to Redrow’s unique approach to creating new homes and housing developments, it’s important for us to let our customers know just what goes into creating places to live that are way more than just fours walls and a roof.
Following on from our video that showcases our Woodlands development in Horsforth, we caught up with director Dan Harris to see how he managed to create a film that shows just how Redrow developments go above and beyond other new home developments.
Hi Dan, what was the starting point for the video on the Horsforth development?
The key thing for us was to show why each Redrow development is special from a ‘local’ point of view. We decided to include the expertise David Faraday, our Technical Director in Yorkshire and Kevin Parker, our Group Master Planning Director, both of whom bring plenty of knowledge of the project in Horsforth and could really pull out how Redrow strives to integrate each development into the local area.
Horsforth was chosen as it’s at a good stage right now from a construction perspective, but we could have picked pretty any other development, such is the level of detail and similar work across the UK when it comes to integration and connectivity to the local area. Once they were on board, it was a matter of creating a film which showcased the various ways that Redrow does so much more than just build houses on a spare plot.
Talk us through the planning process for the film
After some project planning in the office, we kicked off with a trip up to Horsforth to get a feel for the site from a shooting perspective, as well as to decide which features we were going to pull out. We did some principal photography then created a list of the shots we wanted to include, such as the externals of the properties themselves and the various bits of infrastructure that help the Redrow development to knit into the community.
One thing that I really wanted to include was an insight into Redrow’s focus not just on new residents, but also the impact of a new development on locals and local businesses. We organised a visit with Dean, the owner of Hartley’s Fish & Chips and a resident of the local area, who spoke about the impact of the new development on the place he lives, as well as the effect that it’s having on his livelihood. This was invaluable for me, as often it’s all about sales when it comes to homebuilders, with the impact of the development itself sometimes taking a back seat. We wanted to make it clear that a lot of thought goes into ensuring that the development isn’t taking anything away from existing residents.
Which elements of the film did you feel needed to be included?
Naturally, the homes within the development are the key focal point for customers, so we decided to start talking about their development. The use of Cotswold stone throughout the development instead of cheaper materials like brick was a conscious decision to help the homes blend into the local landscape and those dry stone walls are pretty unique when it comes to new housing estates, so it was a no-brainer to talk about and shoot those features.
We also wanted to talk to the audience about the way that Redrow has connected the Horsforth development to the rest of Horsforth itself, so we chose some shots that helped to convey that message.
Talk us through the choice and placement of those shots
Well, there’s the new footpath that helps to open up the estate to the rest of the world. The site was popular for walkers before being developed, so Redrow wanted to retain that accessibility, as well as helping new residents to access the beautiful countryside around them. Things as simple as the street names and signage were chosen too, as they help the development to blend in even further.
One shot that I really wanted to include was David and Kevin chatting on the bridge that crosses the river Aire. We really wanted to drive home that message that there’s a ‘bridge’ between these homes and the rest of the local community.
Why did you feel it was important to include the local bus stop and cricket club in the film?
Well, choosing the right home is pretty important, but the facilities available nearby are also a big element for many buyers. Although they’re great selling points, we chose to include them because Redrow have actually gone above and beyond to improve them. The bus stop is brand new and the service itself is funded by Redrow, providing a vital link to the local primary school and Horsforth town centre, making it easy for commuters to reach Leeds or pop into Horsforth to enjoy some leisure time or shopping.
The sports pitches, including the football and cricket pitches which sit opposite the development, have also had investment, so the existing users and potential new users have instant access to these great facilities. We felt that it was important to show that Redrow is a little different in this respect, not just providing improvements to new residents but also making things better for people who were already making use of these spaces.
How would you summarise the overall production of the ‘Keeping it Local’ video?
After we decided on the key themes, our focus was simplicity and a handful of key messages that really showcase what has been done to ensure the new homes integrate and blend into the existing community in Horsforth. We were careful not to turn the film into a sales pitch, but it becomes clear that certain features, likes the accessibility, retention of natural features like the mill pond and the reaction from locals like Dean from the fish and chip shop will all hopefully help potential buyers to learn that the Horsforth development offers way more than just a new home – it’s a pre-existing community ready to be lived in.
Watch the full Keeping it Local video below.