Victoria Patterson, director of leading Northern Ireland-based property developer Mayfair Group, discusses the company’s recently announced plans to build 500 sustainable homes and other ventures being pursued by the group
It has been a busy few months for Mayfair group director Victoria Patterson who in October was named Business Woman of the Year at the Ulster Tatler Awards. In the same week, the group picked up the award for best residential property development in Northern Ireland as well as being recognised as the UK Developer of the Year at the International Property Awards hosted in London.
Victoria said the awards reflect the quality of the team, but their focus is on bringing innovative, new products to the market. “It’s always nice to have your hard work rewarded and we’re delighted for our team who deserve all the recognition. However, we’re always focused on how we can do things better and offer our clients and customers opportunities that they can’t get anywhere else.”
This approach led to the group’s recent announcement where it outlined plans to develop 500 new sustainable homes over the next five years with a private investment of £100m.
“We’re really excited about what Mayfair Zero is bringing to the market,” Victoria said. “We all know that climate change is the challenge of our generation – but the question now is: what are we going to do about it? Through Mayfair Zero our customers can enjoy comfortable, modern homes while reducing their impact on the environment and world around us.”
The homes will be developed under the Mayfair Zero brand and phase one of the first development – Thorburn Gate just off the Antrim Road in Belfast – reached sale agreed within 60 seconds of being released in November. Each home will benefit from integrated solar panels, a battery storage system and an electric vehicle charge point as well as smart grid technology.
“Incorporating these features will result in a grade A energy rating and will allow homeowners to use solar energy produced during the day to power their homes and cars, while any energy not being used will be stored,” Victoria said. “The stored energy can then be used when needed in the evening.”
“Taken together these systems will save £380 a year on each household’s energy bills.” If they opt for Encom’s full package, homeowners will save up to £800 on energy costs.
Victoria believes the initial success of the Thorburn Gate development shows that people want to live sustainably when given the choice to do so. “We know sustainability matters to everyone and believed that Mayfair Zero would be a popular concept, but we could never have anticipated how quickly phase one would be snapped up. It shows that homeowners will opt for a more sustainable lifestyle and we’re proud to be the developer who allows them to do just that.”
Mayfair Group is not only leading the way when it comes to sustainable living, but they are also pioneering a unique approach to sales that enables buyers to purchase their new home directly through Mayfair Residential. This includes a streamlined, three step process that allows applicants to get financially qualified online before reserving their new home.
“Buying a new home is a stressful process and we want to take as much of that stress as possible away from our Mayfair Zero customers,” Victoria said. “Our homes can be purchased directly from us through Mayfair Residential, where we can provide mortgages through independent third parties, including a green mortgage, which rewards sustainable living.”
Supplying all new Mayfair Zero developments with the cutting-edge technology needed to fit out the sustainable homes is Encom Energy, a new business that sits within the Mayfair Group. Encom provides renewable energy solutions for commercial and domestic properties across the UK and Ireland, and despite having been established in the autumn of this year already has an order book exceeding £3m.
“Encom really compliments our sustainability agenda and our plans with Mayfair Zero,” Victoria said. “However, it’s already shown to be much more than that and we now have huge ambitions for that business in its own right. At a time when energy bills are soaring Encom will provide unbeatable solutions that are both sustainable and economical.”
While supplying Mayfair Zero, Encom’s initial focus is on bringing sustainable energy solutions to the commercial market. These will be particularly attractive to businesses with high energy usage and could result in payback between 20% and 25%, while Encom can also provide affordable finance packages for all projects and customers.
The company is already working with a number of businesses across the UK; and Victoria said it will produce its own products here in Northern Ireland. “Encom will be the only homegrown manufacturer of renewable energy products on the island of Ireland.
“We’re investing heavily in the right areas and are delighted to be bringing sustainable jobs to the local area. It’s exciting that in just a few months you’ll be able to buy electric vehicle chargers, storage systems and other products made right here in Belfast.”
Victoria is driving the growth and evolution of a successful group of companies first established by her father, Don Patterson, but alongside climate change she sees encouraging more women into leadership positions as a key issue across the industry and highlights it as something that still needs to be not only supported but celebrated.
“Unfortunately, it goes without saying that being a young woman in what are ultimately still very male dominated sectors has its challenges, but I would also say it is a big factor in what is now setting Mayfair Group apart. We’re not afraid to take a different approach and we believe that will continue to give us a competitive edge going forward.”