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Story Homes appoints new Head of Land North West to drive acquisition strategy

March 2015

Fast-growing housebuilder Story Homes has appointed a new Head of Land to drive its crucial land acquisition strategy in the North West of England.

Chartered surveyor David O’Reilly, 33, will particularly focus on the company’s growth targets in Lancaster, Ribble Valley, Fylde, Wyre, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire East and West.

David, 33, joined the company after being thoroughly impressed with Story Homes’ credentials.

He said: “I’ve been in planning and development with a particular focus on strategic land for around 12 years, and I was familiar with Story Homes because it has an impressive reputation for quality.

“So when I was asked to join the company having met the team, – and having seen some of the existing Story Homes sites, I was even more impressed.”

David, originally from the Fylde Coast, grew up in Cheshire and qualified at Reading University. After a long stint working in London for a UK wide strategic land company, he was delighted to return home to his native North.

“I really feel I’ve found a company in the North West that I am proud to say I am part of and that is very important to me” he said. David’s job keeps him on the road throughout the week looking at potential purchase sites for the fast-growing company.

Steve Errington, Chief Executive of Story Homes said: “We are pleased to welcome David to the team and his expertise will be invaluable as we continue to grow the business in the North West.
“The business is going through a period of rapid expansion and success and we are currently looking for an office base in the region to support this. David joining us is further proof of our commitment to the area as we continue to secure sites in the North West.”

Story Homes has ambitious plans to become a national housebuilder, with the number of homes built forecast to more than double in the next few years, from over 400 this year to more than 900 annually by 2017.

The company already has development sites in Cumbria, South Scotland, the North East and Lancashire. Its recipe of building high-quality housing using local materials and labour has proved popular, and the company is seeking to grow in further regions.

David is urging landowners with sites of over five acres or more who believe their land may have development potential to get in touch.

He said: “One of the other things that drew me to the company was the way we deal with landowners, giving a speedy decision on whether it is a site we would look to purchase and making sure we work in good faith throughout the process. The high quality reputation of honouring agreements is as important as the high quality of the finished houses we build’.

“Our land acquisition strategy is a region-by-region blend of sites with outline planning permission in place and short, medium and long term strategic sites which do not currently benefit from planning permission, which might take up to 15 years to develop.”

Acquiring exactly the right land in each region is crucial.

“Story Homes is a family-owned company, which means we’ve never lost sight of what families want and need,” said David.

“We build homes for families in places where people want to live, and it’s my job to find sites in the right parts of the North West where we can plant the Story Homes flag and be confident that the quality of the location matches the quality of the brand.

“Giving people quality homes with a community feel is what Story Homes is all about – it’s the personal touch that has grown our reputation for quality.”