Spotlight: Thomas Taylor, Court Collaboration

Thomas Taylor

Thomas Taylor, commercial director at Court Collaboration

Andy Street, with Tracy Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer at PIC, Alex Neale, MD of Court Collaboration, and visitors from PIC, BCU and members of the wider One Eastside project team at a recent site visit

What is the best thing about your job?

Variety. No one day is the same as the next. One moment I am working on a multimillion-pound fund raise, the next, helping decide on the specification of a kitchen within an apartment, the next, learning about the mating season of bats to inform a planning condition! I am incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to develop knowledge across every aspect of development in my role.

Where is the opportunity for the business this year?

Like all residential developers, we hope that after a stagnated 2023, prompted by the improving SONIA forward curve (used for forecasting debt costs) funds will return to a higher rate of investing in the residential sector in 2024 and we as a business can resume pro-actively starting on sites to deliver housing for Birmingham.

What is the big issue affecting your sector at the moment, and how will this make itself felt more widely?

Cost pressures on new development projects including higher interest rates, inflationary construction costs, increased costs driven by new building regulations and new statutory costs such as the Building Safety Levy, and Selective Licencing fees. Collectively, this perfect storm of cost increases will slow down the delivery of new houses and continue to add to the shortage Birmingham is facing.

What has been the biggest change to your sector in the last 5-10 years, and what has been the impact of that?

Build to Rent as an institutional product was only born in the UK a little over 10 years ago and still makes up only 100,000 completed units. However, as attitudes around home ownership in the UK slowly change and the new pressure on Buy to Let kicks in (for example, increased tax), the demand for professionally managed homes with high quality amenities in a safe and secure community, means Build to Rent units will continue to expand. The Single-Family Housing sector, in particular, is continuing to expand very strongly, with over 28,000 homes now in the planning pipeline (11% of all BtR homes).

Do you (or your company) have a phrase or motto that you use or rely on, and why does it resonate with you?

As a Company we say property is not about bricks and mortar but about people. This is true both in terms of the end product in which we strive to create communities but also in the process of getting there. Development projects are fraught with challenges and take many years, only with a trusted and reliable supply chain can you overcome the challenges.

Give me an example of a lesson you learnt early in your career that has stuck with you?

Attention to detail. A necessary part of my training as a lawyer drilled in from the very beginning. In my current role it is as much about learning to let some of that go and remember that – sometimes – 90% perfect and done is better than 100% perfect but never done.

Andy Street, with Tracy Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer at PIC, Alex Neale, MD of Court Collaboration, and visitors from PIC, BCU and members of the wider One Eastside project team hear from Ed McDonald, Project Director at contractor, Midgard, at a recent One Eastside site visit.

Who has been the biggest influence on their career? / Who inspires you?

Over the years I have been lucky enough to work with lots of great personalities and have tried to take a little bit from each of these highly effective individuals.

How do you relax away from work?
Time with my wife and our 3-year-old and trying to stave off the “dad bod” with some running.


Established in 2010, Court Collaboration is a specialist residential developer based in Birmingham, with a development portfolio and pipeline of over £1 billion of residential real estate developments across the West Midlands and throughout the UK.

As well as delivering stunning high-quality properties, Court Collaboration is committed towards creating transformational developments which support local communities and economies.

From initial search and acquisition, to planning procurement, construction project management and international sales delivery, Court Collaboration manages each and all of the key aspects of the development journey for its clients.