Movers & Shakers: March 2018

We look at who’s changing jobs in the new homes industry.

Mick O’Farrell, Keepmoat Homes

Mick O'Farrell of Keepmoat HomesKeepmoat Homes has hired new regional managing director Mick O’Farrell to support its continued growth in the South. O’Farrell brings a wealth of experience to the homebuilder, having worked in senior positions in the industry for over 20 years at organisations including Lovell Partnerships, Kier Group and Wilson Connelly. The Southern division of Keepmoat Homes has grown rapidly since it was established in 2014, with 519 homes built since the regions inception. As well as business growth O’Farrell will focus on raising awareness of Keepmoat Homes and its work to deliver much-needed high-quality homes.

“We don’t just build homes but create thriving communities where people want to live”, he explained. “In Northfleet in Kent, for example, we are seeking to build almost 600 homes as part of the Ebbsfleet Garden City. The development will include community facilities and transform a formerly unused industrial site. I want to make more people aware of the work we do, this is particularly important for the South, where there is a large housing shortage and where people struggle to buy.”

Tim Beale, Keepmoat Home’s divisional managing director for the South, says: “Mick has joined us at a really exciting time as we continue to work on large ongoing projects such as the Northfleet development. It’s wonderful to welcome Mick to our team, knowing that he shares our vision and is passionate about building much needed homes and communities across the region.”

Sebastian Balcombe, Legal & General

Sebastian Balcombe of Legal & GeneralLegal & General (L&G) has announced that it has hired Grainger’s Sebastian Balcombe, as it continues to invest in housing creation activities across the spectrum. Backing a fast growing pipeline of over 80,000 new homes over the next five to ten years, Legal & General is establishing housing capabilities across all tenures, delivering Build to Sell housing alongside Build to Rent, later living, student accommodation and affordable housing. It is also revolutionising construction methods through its modular factory in Leeds.

Balcombe joins as senior land and planning manager, principally responsible for investment into new major housing-led projects alongside acquisition and planning work across Legal & General’s strategic land portfolio. This is a new role to the business, and Balcombe will be involved in acquiring and securing planning for medium-term opportunities with the aim of creating high-quality new communities.

James Lidgate, CEO of Legal & General Homes, says: “Sebastian will be an excellent addition to our housing team, having built up a strong leadership with relevant housing expertise across our platform. We are invested in housing across the spectrum, and we believe this multi-tenure approach will not only continue to grow our housing capabilities successfully, but speed up the delivery of much needed new homes for the UK.”

George Hart, Barratt and David Wilson Homes

George Hart of Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes Graduate George Hart has been offered the role of trainee architectural technician after graduating from Brighton University with a degree in architectural technology. “Building designs and architecture has always been an interest of mine. I have always wanted to work in construction, especially in home building and understanding the different processes to create a good design,” he says. “I wanted to work for Barratt and David Wilson Homes as they are a five star rated homebuilder producing high quality finished homes across the country.”

In his new role, Hart aids the technical department in producing drawings and layouts to help the whole process of housebuilding, from planning applications through to construction. Robert Holbrook, managing director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties, comments: “As a leading homebuilder we pride ourselves on developing raw talent through the likes of apprenticeships and traineeships. We were delighted to welcome George to the team and wish him every success in his new role. A traineeship is a great way for people like George to develop key skills straight out of doing a degree and we hope that we can assist him to progress within the role.”

Ben Adams, Hayfield Homes

Ben Adams of Hayfield HomesHayfield Homes has appointed a new land director, Ben Adams, who will use his extensive experience and trained eye to strengthen the company’s land bank. Adams joins the company at a time when Hayfield Homes already has an impressive range of development sites under their belt, and with its scheme in Tiddington continuing to be well received and further sites in progress, it is looking to build up its portfolio with more desirable locations.

Having worked for both privately owned and national housebuilders, Adams brings a wealth of experience to the Hayfield ranks. In his new role, he will be using his expertise to source land opportunities across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire & Warwickshire whilst overseeing the day to day running of the land department. “The company has ambitious growth plans which I’m excited to be a part of, as I feel there is a real opportunity to help shape the future of the company,” he says. “I also believe in the product and feel that the unrivalled designs and specifications are vital in today’s competitive market.”

Managing director Mark Booth comments: “Ben’s contact list and experience in sourcing and buying land will make him a key player in the Hayfield team – we’re looking forward to growing both our company and our development pipeline with Ben on board.”

Kevin Sims, Churchill Retirement Living

Kevin Sims of Churchill Retirement LivingChurchill Retirement Living has appointed Kevin Sims as regional sales and marketing director for its South East region. Based in the Group’s regional head office in Byfleet, he will work closely alongside regional managing director Ian Byers to deliver the Group’s growth plans for this key region. Sims has over 25 years’ experience in the property industry, and has managed sales teams across the South East, Eastern Counties and London, most recently as new homes and regional sales director for Countrywide. Prior to that he held sales and marketing director roles at developers Prowting Homes and Wilson Connolly. Sims will oversee Churchill’s sales strategy across the South East, where the Group has 19 new retirement developments currently selling or coming soon.

“I’m delighted to join Churchill and excited about the challenge that lies ahead to ensure the Group maintains its strong track record of success, and continues to deliver an exceptional service to Customers across the region,” he says. Churchill’s South East regional managing director Ian Byers adds: “I’m very pleased to welcome Kevin to the Churchill team and I’m looking forward to working with him to achieve our ambitious plans for the South East region. He has a strong background in sales management and an enthusiastic, customer-focused approach that will make him a great asset to our growing team.”

Mollie Tomlinson, Linden Homes

Mollie Tomlinson of Linden HomesFollowing three successful years at the company, Linden Homes has promoted Mollie Tomlinson from sales executive to the position of field sales manager, now responsible for overseeing the sales of all Linden Homes North West schemes, with five sites currently in development. Her new role involves driving sales of the company’s new homes, as well as using her experience and knowledge at Linden Homes developments to support to sales executives across the region.

Mollie says: “During my time with Linden Homes, it’s been hugely rewarding to help people find their dream homes, whether they’re first-time buyers, growing families or someone looking to downsize. Linden Homes has grown considerably in the North West during my time working with them and there’s now such a wide range of sites across the North West at all stages of development, that I’m looking forward to helping even more house-hunters in my new role.”

Regional head of sales Sian Pitt says: “Since joining Linden Homes in 2015, Mollie has excelled in the role of sales executive, and we’re delighted to see such a valued member of the team take on the position of field sales manager. As well as growing sales across our five live sites, Mollie be looking after site presentation, ensuring that all developments match the very high standards of Linden Homes, as well as exploring new ways to secure reservations.”

John Beresford, Buckland Development 

John Beresford of Buckland DevelopmentHampshire-based Buckland Development has appointed Grainger PLC’s John Beresford as its new managing director, bringing with him over 20 years’ experience in the residential sector including time at Bryant Homes and Taylor Woodrow. Beresford was previously responsible for running the strategic land business at Grainger, with considerable experience of large-scale projects such as Wellesley in Aldershot, and Berewood, Waterlooville.

In his new role, Beresford will be working on realising its vision for Welborne, which aims to work with Fareham Borough Council to provide up to 6,000 new homes over the next 20 years – the largest such scheme in the south of England and at the most advances stage of any of the 14 Garden Villages allocated by Government in January 2017. He says: “I’m excited to join the Buckland team at this pivotal time for the Welborne project, and for Buckland more generally. Buckland is a lead developer with a unique approach that unlike other property developers, focuses on longer-term investment and stewardship, rather than quick profits. I share Buckland’s consistent vision for, and commitment to, the creation of a new community that meets local needs, and more importantly, a place which will stand the test of time.”

Mark Thistlethwayte, principal of Buckland, says: “We are very pleased to welcome John to the team at Buckland. He brings a wealth of experience in the industry, having worked on similar large-scale schemes to Welborne, and his background will be invaluable as we look to progress its plans through the next stages in the coming months. The housing market needs a new delivery solution that is not focused on numbers at the expense of the community, quality and place-making. With John’s leadership, we will develop projects like Welborne that meet the needs of the local area, whilst creating a blueprint for developers to deliver homes in the future that truly benefit the local community.”

Tom Bryant, Savills

Tom Bryant of SavillsTom Bryant has joined Savills as a director and new head of residential development sales for Kent and Sussex, following three-and-a-half years at CBRE in London, marks a return to the company where he began his career in the residential development sales team in London ten years ago. The new role is based in Sevenoaks, where he and his family live.

MRICS qualified Bryant says: “I am delighted to be back on board with Savills, particularly in such a strongly performing region. There are some exciting opportunities across the South East and we have already secured some new instructions this year. The team has a wealth of experience and our holistic service across land, planning and agency means that we are best placed to help developers and housebuilders across the region. We are looking to grow our position as the market leader in the new homes sector across Kent and Sussex.”

Alan Watt, head of Savills residential development sales in the south, adds: “We are pleased to have appointed Tom, whose expertise strengthens the existing residential development sales teams across the South East. His background and experience, combined with his knowledge of the area, means he is extremely well placed to develop the business in this part of the country.”

Maxine Conway, Cameron Homes

Maxine Conway of Cameron Homes

Cameron Homes has appointed Maxine Conway in the newly created position of sales and marketing director. Conway has joined the expanding Chasetown-based housebuilder with the knowledge gained through over 25 years’ experience in the industry. The company is working alongside sister Galliers Homes to develop sites throughout seven counties in central England, which has led to the recent opening a new southern sales office in Stratford-upon-Avon.

“I have been employed by several of the large PLC companies, progressing from an on-site sales advisor to the position of director over the years,” says Aldridge-based Conway, who has also spent some time working as a sales trainer focused on selling skills, IT systems and customer service. “I enjoy building team relationships that are open and honest and like to give others the opportunity to develop their skills in a supportive environment. This is an exciting time for Cameron Homes and I look forward to bringing my skills and knowledge into this growing business.”

Charles Worthington, Peveril Homes

Charles Worthington of Peveril HomesPeveril Homes continues its expansion with the new appointment of experienced architectural technologist, Charles Worthington, to its Belper head office team. He brings with him over 16 years’ experience following spells with housebuilders such as Miller Homes and Bloor Homes, and will focus on the finer details of house design and construction – ensuring that working drawings coincide with the latest building regulations and third-party information.

Working in daily contact with several key departments across the project, such as site managers, structural engineers, local authorities and energy assessors, his role involves resolving issues in regards to design, structural, regulation and thermal constraints, taking in a range of elements from floor joists to kitchens. “The variety of work and having the opportunity to become involved in all aspects of the company really appealed to me when I joined,” says Worthington. “The camaraderie in the team and the commitment to designing quality modern homes using traditional building methods, is something that has impressed me – and I look forward to what the future holds with Peveril Homes.”

The company’s director of sales and marketing, Alison Kendall, adds: “Charles comes to Peveril with a fantastic knowledge of best practices and regulations – helping us to ensure that we not only build quality homes, but also comply at all stages of the building and planning process.”

Mark Peace, Generator Group

Mark Peace of Generator GroupDeveloper Generator Group has appointed Mark Peace Bsc MRICs as development director to spearhead the expansion of its South West division. A chartered surveyor, Peace has a career record managing and realigning over £3.6bn of mixed-use estates across the South West and UK and he now oversees existing projects such as Huller & Cheese and the former Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate Factory as well as securing new opportunities. A native of the region, his experience includes working for a leading firm of consultants and Network Rail in Bristol and Exeter in addition to senior positions at Colliers International and Nationwide Building Society.

Peace says: “The South West is an area that I am passionate about. Bristol, for example, has been voted one of the best cities in the UK to live and work – so there is a huge demand for quality developments here. Generator offers an entrepreneurial spirit and great expertise in achieving planning consent and the regeneration of some complex sites, work that I feel will be complemented by my own expertise to close deals and resource important funding. I look forward to breathing life into former industrial and commercial spaces in order to create modern, quality developments where people want to live, while also ensuring Generator South West becomes the developer of choice for this region.

Paul Isaacs, Generator Group managing director adds: “Mark has an impressive amount of expertise and experience in the real estate sector across the West Country, and with both his family and past employment rooted in this area, he will add significant value to our business as we look to grow our portfolio in the region. We welcome Mark into the role at what we consider to be a very exciting time to help us to set a new standard in mixed-use development.”

 

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