Europe’s Best Leisure Development

Left to right – Lord Bates (Deputy Speaker & Deputy Chairman of the House of Lords), Tony Dowse (Environ Communities), David Boden (Environ Communities), Andrew Tull (CDP Architecture Ltd), Stuart Shield (International Property Awards)


La Durantie, the new development of vernacular apartments and villas in the grounds of a historical belle époque style chateau in The Tarn, has fought-off stiff competition to win the coveted accolades of ‘Best Leisure Development France’ and ‘Best Leisure Development Europe’, at the International Property Awards 2013-2014.  As part of the long established International Property Awards, such accolades are recognised as a symbol of excellence throughout the global industry and this year has been sponsored by Virgin Atlantic and Yamaha.


The most recent addition to this innovative French leisure development is the re-introduction of a 1.3 hectare vineyard which allows owners to lease or buy their own rows of vines; giving them access to their own piece of French history and the enjoyment of drinking their own wine whilst sitting on their sunny terrace.  Also, La Durantie’s own Master of Wine, Andy Howard who is one of the World’s 300 Masters of Wine will be running wine courses and organising guided tours of the surrounding domains.


The awards were presented to the excited life-long friends who form the Environ Communities development team behind La Durantie comprising of Tony Dowse (Master Planner) and David Boden (Financier) with architect, Andrew Tull (CDP Architecture Ltd) at the high-profile gala and presentation dinner at The Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair on 24th September.


Commenting on receiving the accolades, Tony Dowse says: “We are so delighted to receive these two prestigious awards.  Until now, we have been immersed in meticulously planning La Durantie, as we want it to be a development that we are proud of and for our owners to form a happy leisure community in this beautiful part of rural France.  It is our aim that the renovated chateau building and spa will become the social heart of the development providing a country club where owners and annual local members can dine, relax, be pampered and entertained.  The International Property Awards is deemed as one of the top awards in the industry and we are proud to be able to say that La Durantie is ‘Europe’s Best’ and celebrate this success tonight.”


Stuart Shield, president of the International Property Awards, says: “In the continent most renowned for its timeless architecture and awe-inspiring buildings, these winning companies are creating modern buildings and homes that enhance the beauty of their old-world cities while incorporating modern and innovative features.”


The European Property Awards rank amongst the most prestigious commendations in the residential and commercial property industries.  A high-calibre jury of international experts identifies the most significant building projects as well as the highest quality European real estate agencies and consists of approximately 70 professionals including Andrew Panting, Director of Operations for the British Property Federation, Peter Bolton King, Global Residential Director of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); and Christian Morris, Director / Owner of architectural firm Yotomo Ltd.


At the end of the year, the highest scoring winners from the European Property Awards will compete against other winning companies from Asia Pacific, Africa, UK, the Americas and Arabia to find the ultimate World’s Best in each category.