Years of graft delivers ‘overnight success’

March 5, 2020

Sean Egan has become regional managing director with one of the UK’s top five housebuilders. This ‘overnight success’ follows the £1.1 billion acquisition of Galliford Try Partnerships – his former employer – and its Linden Homes division by Bovis in January. This created Vistry Group, which includes Bovis Homes, Linden Homes, Vistry Partnerships and – in the South of England – Drew Smith. Here, Sean – who heads up Vistry Partnerships North East, reveals what this means for the region

Now backed by greater corporate clout and financial strength – a £2.5 billion turnover business developing 11,000 homes this year – Sean Egan’s goal is to build on the success the development and regeneration specialist has enjoyed since he joined Gailliford Try Partnerships in 2017. This has included delivering private housing through the Linden Homes brand, affordable and extra care homes for housing associations and the two first large scale private rented family housing schemes in the region.

The Focus for Sean and his team this year will be on the delivery of eight projects that secured planning permission towards the end of last year.

With a gross development value of more than £180 million, they will create almost 1200 new homes of all tenures, including:

• 375 mixed-tenure homes in Redcar, in partnership with Homes England, Beyond Housing and Sigma Capital

• A 350 mixed-tenure development in Middlesbrough, with Thirteen Group and Sigma

• A 71-apartment extra care facility with Housing 21 in Peterlee

• A 64-apartment scheme in North Tyneside for Housing 21

• An 82-apartment extra care facility for Home Group in Gateshead • A 67-home scheme for Believe Housing in Peterlee

• 56 homes in Washington, half for shared ownership through Riverside Group and the remainder for sale

• 65 houses and apartments in Newcastle (the only one where site work is yet to start)

Such a flying start to the decade gives Sean confidence that the business’ hybrid model will drive significant growth.

“We changed our approach to securing new work with the region’s housing associations,” he says.

“Rather than being a contractor bidding for work, we create exciting opportunities driven by our own land and development skills.

“We have a more proactive approach to sourcing land, for which we devise development ideas that meet housing needs and housing association criteria.

“Because we lead projects from design, through the planning progress to completion, we constantly look for efficiencies that add value and quality to developments.

“I believe 95 per cent of what we do with our housing assocation partners in the North East will be based on this approach and will account for roughly half of our work here. The remainder will be through Linden Homes properties for sale.”

In addition to the sites in Middlesbrough, Redcar and Washington, Linden is already active in Morpeth, Darlington and Bishop Auckland and – through the Gateshead Regeneration Partnership – at Birtley, Rowlands Gill and Saltwell, with more sites to follow at Windy Nook and Felling.

This latter joint venture with Gateshead Council and Home Group is part of a £300 million initiative to create 2000 homes, of mixed tenure.

Vistry Group

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