Could you tell us a little bit more about your role as a project manager?
“Our Development team is made up of two project management teams. Our pre-contract team, who purchase land to build new affordable homes and our post-contract team, who manage our building contractors who build our new homes.
Every day is different for me. An essential part of my job is valuing land to build much-needed, new affordable homes.
Most of these come from land agents, whose primary role is to approach housing associations, asking them to bid for the schemes.
We are also often approached directly by developers to submit bids on sites they are already building on.
I also find development opportunities by using property websites and phoning various estate and land agents.”
How else do you and the team find potential development opportunities?
“Another part of my role is reviewing local authority online planning portals to see what applications have been made or approved. If I find one that would be suitable, I will contact the planning advisor to see if we can provide our services for affordable housing. This includes building homes on land that already has planning permission.”
What makes a good site for developing new homes?
“Before we make an offer, I always visit the site. There are many reasons I do this, but mainly so I can:
- Identify the closeness of work opportunities, leisure, education, and medical facilities, as well as cycling, walking and public transport access for future residents.
- Identify how close our existing homes are. This is because it’s better for us and our residents to have homes closer to existing ones so we can deliver services, such as repairs, effectively.
Once I have visited the site, I’ll carry out an assessment. This involves getting current sales and rental values on homes in the local area. We must have the most up-to-date and accurate market data for the location. This is to ensure we fulfil our value for money commitments.”
What is something you are proud of?
“In the past 12 months, we have successfully bought land in Long Melford, Haverhill, Cockfield, Linton, Littleport, Bacton and Thetford. These sites alone will see the development of 166 new homes in the local areas. This is something which I am proud to be a small part of.”
In the past 12 months, we have completed:
- 37 social rent homes
- 71 Affordable Rent homes
- 87 shared ownership homes
You can find out more about our homes for shared ownership here.