The Design Review Panel is extremely grateful to C G Fry & Son Builders for supporting our recent Design Review Panel & Taunton Garden Town CPD / Training day held at the Somerset County Cricket Ground on the 2nd October (photos and details of the event can be seen by clicking here ...). Please see below for a short blog article by their managing director Philip Fry
Philip Fry, BSc MRICS
Philip is the grandson of the founder of the company, Charles George Fry. After qualifying with a degree in Quantity Surveying, Philip worked for a major contractor in London and moved to CG Fry in 1991. Since then he has overseen the growth of CG
Fry to become a major contractor/developer in the South West.
CG Fry & Son Ltd are a privately owned builder/developer that operate across the South West.
The company was founded in the 1930’s by Charles George Fry who was a general village builder, undertaker and Cartwright. In the late 1940’s Charles was joined by his son Eddie Fry. Up until the late 1970’s, the companies focus was on contracting work. In the late 70’s CG Fry carried out their first development, however the company remained predominantly a general building contractor carrying out some development work.
In the early 90’s when Eddie was joined by his son Philip, CG Fry were awarded the first phase of development at Poundbury, HRH Prince of Wales urban expansion of Dorchester. The company used this as a spring board to help increase their development focus and took many of the principles of what they were learning at Poundbury and applied this to other areas across the South West.
Today the company turn over around £90m per annum and directly employ around 180 people.
Contracting work is still very much part of their operation and that part of the company, turnover around £20m per annum and predominantly work in Dorset, Devon and Somerset. The work is varied and includes private and commercial clients, carrying out works on private houses, schools, health care and affordable housing. Affordable housing has been a strong market for the company over the last 10 years and have worked with many RSL’s, bringing the lessons learnt from their own developments to this side of the sector.
The development team build around 250 new homes per year across all the South West counties. The company’s focus has always very much involved a bespoke design led solution to all the areas in which they build, trying to ensure that wherever they build the development feels that it belongs to that area, this is done through carefully crafted vernacular design, whilst ensuring it meets current day building standards.
This design led approach has driven CG Fry to bring much of the design led function in house and they currently directly employ around 20 architects and CAD technicians to help ensure that exacting standards of design are met. The decision to bring this in house has very much helped CG Fry maintain design quality as they have expanded their house building business. This in house facility also allows for many design challenges to be sorted out directly between the construction and design team, rather than going back through a third party. It also allows direct input from the sales team to make sure that the product is what purchasers want to buy.
Quality development does not have to cost more to build, it is about ensuring house proportions and details are correct and material choices are appropriate. Combining these correctly can create a development the feels right and appropriate to an area and create a place that purchasers can be proud to live.
Much of the development work involves working with land owners that want to ensure development on their land is carried out to a high standard in terms of design and build and leave a legacy behind of quality developments for future generations to admire.
CG Fry are not only one of the principal developers of Poundbury, they are also working jointly with the Duchy of Cornwall at their major urban expansion to Newquay known as Nansledan. Developments range in size from a few homes through to a 1000 homes. More details of these sites can be seen on the website www.cgfry.co.uk.
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