DESCRIBE A TYPICAL WORKING DAY
There is quite a lot of variety to my working day with the main parts being interaction with our five regional offices on new land opportunities and ensuring our Ways of Working are up to date and relevant to our business.
WHAT GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING?
The ability to help our Land Teams and see the day to day improvement in their performance. We have a lot of people within our Land Teams that have been promoted from within the business and as I have followed the same route, I see my role as offering support and guidance to them to ensure they can perform to the best of their ability.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A NEW LAND ACQUISITION?
‘Will people want to live here?’ That is the main question you always have to ask yourself. Once you have established that the location is a desirable destination, the rest falls into place.
WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING PIECE OF LAND ACQUIRED BY AVANT?
There have been many interesting sites in the seven years I have been with Avant but the one that springs to mind is the acquisition of our site at Martin’s Reach in Nottingham. A former allotments which had been derelict for many years, we supported the two local allotment groups and Nottingham City Council to devise a housing scheme for 90 new homes together with over 200 replacement allotments. With a lot of local interest, it was a very challenging environment at times to keep everyone on track, but we did, and the development has been a huge success.
WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING PLANNING APPLICATION YOU’VE BEEN INVOLVED WITH?
In addition to being the most challenging, it was also one of the most critical for our business at the time and this was our scheme at Redlands Park in Swaffham. A scheme of over 300 units which had stalled due to the recession and it was my role to fully re-design the scheme, submit a series of planning applications to ensure the site generated the required financial returns and that the build programme was not compromised. A very under-resourced planning department and adjacent developer made for an interesting 18 months!
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
On a personal level, I am most proud of leading a team of talented individuals at the Midlands office and together, we became the most successful Land Team across the East Midlands and proved a lot of people wrong along the way!
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
Avant has always been a restless company, striving to be the best it can be, and I don’t see that this will change any time soon. We have come a long way over the last few years but there is still lots more to achieve. I have never worked for a company that invests so much time, effort and resource in its staff and this commitment is central to Avant’s future. From a Land point of view, we have got many years of experience and the right blend of personalities across all the regional Land Teams, together with plenty of excellent land opportunities! So, if we all keep working with the same commitment, honesty and integrity that has served us so well over the last few years, then the future can only be exciting.