Habitat First Group is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year; a journey that started with our sister estate, Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds. Having paved the way to people living harmoniously with nature, Silverlake is fast blossoming into its next phase, Shepperd’s View.
To mark the momentous occasion, Habitat First Group has created a special one-off podcast with Diane Wynell-Sutherland, who joined the journey at the very beginning. She looks back over her time with Habitat First Group, working with Jeremy Paxton and at turning Jeremy’s vision into a beautiful reality, which is carried on today by Jeremy’s children, Red, Ruby and Rory.
Sharing anecdotes about their time together, Diane describes Jeremy’s unique approach to selling his dream. From ensuring that the first residents at Lower Mill Estate had leisure facilities from day one, to Jeremy’s inspirational visit to America, Diane talks about how both the architecture and estate plans have developed over time to reflect changing tastes.
One thing that has been consistent yet changed in a way that Jeremy may not have anticipated, is the overwhelming response from residents who enjoy the space that they call home. His vision was always to create a safe and familiar space for families to come together, where they could create memories that would last a lifetime. This legacy is something that his children, Red, Ruby and Rory, have continued in his honour and something that Diane believes would have Jeremy ‘busting with pride’.
Speaking about her own feelings towards the estate, Diane shared ‘It’s like heaven, it’s infectious and I cannot leave. Anyone that owns a house here is incredibly fortunate and I can see there will be a very long waiting list when we have finished on site.’
Having been with Habitat First Group for just over two decades, Diane has also spent six incredible years of her journey creating our sister estate, Silverlake in Dorset. Diane has now returned to Lower Mill Estate, as we inch closer to completion, to see as she says, ‘the very last brick on the very last chimney’.