Property People: Developer makes trio of senior hires; Housebuilder boosts land team

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Residential and commercial developer Godwin Developments has welcomed a trio of property professionals to its in-house team.

Senior planning professional Nick Harrison has been appointed to the position of planning director, with Andrew Cox and Michael Sutton also joining as development director, industrial and associate director, construction respectively.

Harrison has over 20 years of experience with high-profile property development. A former director with Lambeth Smith Hampton and GVA, he has an extensive track record with nationwide schemes, having previously advised housebuilders, developers and investors on projects delivering approximately 6,000 homes.

His residential experience includes planning consultancy on open market sale, BTR, PBSA and co-living projects as well as strategic land promotion.

Selected commercial schemes in his portfolio cover Ballymore’s 500,000 sq. ft. Snowhill office development, 103 Colmore Row on behalf of the British Land Company, and the Library of Birmingham. He has also previously advised the Ministry of Defence, Department of Health, and many UK councils with various strategic land projects.

Cox joins Godwin Developments from London and Cambridge Properties where he managed a major industrial portfolio, worth £144m, across the Midlands and North West. A chartered surveyor with a 25-year track record in the sector, he previously led the development of a 575,000 sq. ft. industrial and distribution scheme in Coventry which was forward funded and acquired by M&G plc.

This was followed by the master planning of three regional airports – Coventry, Norwich and Exeter – which together covered approximately 700 acres to include new build residential, commercial and distribution space. His extended portfolio also features the successful completion, letting and investment sale of a 260,000 sq. ft. new speculative build distribution hub in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and a further 150,000 sq. ft. of industrial space in the Midlands.

At Godwin, Cox will focus on the appraising, acquisition, construction and disposal of schemes for industrial use – a fast growing sector which the business is looking to grow its market share in.

Newly appointed associate director, construction, Sutton, is a chartered building surveyor by profession with over 28 years of experience in the commercial property sector, covering technical due diligence, project, and construction consultancy as well as business development and client relationship management.

A former project director for Mercia Real Estate, he worked on a range of schemes including commercial, residential, retail, industrial and mixed-use developments across the Midlands. His previous remit was focused on project delivery through planning, design, and construction phases as well as appointing and managing external consultancy teams and service providers.

He also previously held directorship positions with CBRE, and RPS Group Plc where he excelled at leading and growing the business’ building consultancy services in the Midlands and the North West.

Stephen Pratt, co-founder and director of Godwin Developments, said: “The past twelve months have been transformational for our business. Not only did we significantly expand our pipeline across the country, but we also successfully secured planning consent for a number of residential and commercial schemes that are now progressing to the next stages of their development.

“During the last month alone, we obtained planning consent for over 1,000 residential units in Sheffield and Nottingham, and we continue to be very ambitious for the future, seeking to acquire sites from London and the Home Counties all the way to Scotland.

“These expansion plans mean that we needed to grow and strengthen our in-house team and we are therefore more than delighted to have attracted Nick, Michael and Andrew to the business. Their significant expertise and specialist capabilities will help us deliver better development at pace, supporting all our stakeholders including operators, end users, communities and investors. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to them and look forward to working closely with them in building the business in the future.”

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Housebuilder Avant Homes has strengthened its land team with the appointment of Danny Cheal to fulfil the role of land director for the West Midlands.

With 21 years’ experience in the housebuilding industry, Cheal will be responsible for identifying new land, accelerating development opportunities, and expanding Avant Homes regional footprint within the West Midlands to support the delivery of Avant Homes ambitious growth strategy.

He said: “When working in housebuilding there is no better feeling than seeing a legacy that you have worked hard with your team to create. Taking a derelict or disused piece of land, transforming it into a place for people to live and being able to see the mark on the community for years to come is a really exciting part of a job in land.

“It’s a great time to join Avant Homes and I look forward to building a presence and a team in the West Midlands.”

Avant Homes currently has 54 live developments being delivered by five regional operating companies.

Avant Homes Group operating officer, Scott Varley, said: “Danny has a real dedication for the housebuilding industry, and following his years of experience securing land opportunities in the West Midlands he is more than up to the challenge of growing Avant Homes’ presence in this area.

“As the new land director for the West Midlands, Danny’s expertise will be vital in working with the technical, commercial and planning functions to ensure our goals are achievable and drive Avant Homes towards further success.”

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