New Team Member Robert Denby
September 26, 2017
YourMK is growing, with new experts joining the team to make the business plan a reality . Robert Denby has recently joined us as a Development Manager. We asked him to tell us something about himself and what his role here is.
A development manager can be many things to many people! After all, we all want to develop and we all try to manage. My role is focussed on making sure the new build projects we have planned at YourMK are delivered on time, on budget and to the right quality and standard.
I have been in this sector for over 20 years. Most recently I have worked in north London managing a range of schemes including multi tenure developments, specialist sheltered accommodation and large groups of flats. I’ve also worked across the south east with all of the major housing developers. My favourite job was managing the conversion of an Edwardian school in a Conservation area in Banbury to provide Social Housing and Learning Disability Accommodation. This scheme was recognised as one the top 50 Social Housing Schemes for the year 2012 by the Chartered Institute of Housing.
What do I spend my days doing now I’m at YourMK? It is difficult to tie it down but most days include:
Meetings with contractors on one of our new build sites. It’s my job to make sure everything is on track, on time and on budget
Visiting possible new sites where we might be able to build new homes for Milton Keynes families. Although this can be a reactive role, Development Managers use their experience and expertise to advice senior colleagues on which are the best options to progress. I also have conversations with the Milton Keynes Planning Team to keep them up to date with our schemes and get them all the information they need.
Meeting our architects to discuss options for our new builds. This can be tricky as we need to make sure we balance the budget without compromising quality or cutting corners. We have a financial limit, and have to generate money for future schemes, but must remember that we are building homes, not just houses.
Discussions with manufacturers to investigate how we can make best use of new technologies to ensure all our new homes are of the highest quality for the best cost. It is sometimes easy to forget that we are dealing with huge sums of money in this process - £20m in one scheme alone. I have to remind myself that this kind of sum can really help bring about positive change.
Why do I do this job? It’s something that can genuinely make a difference. There is a lot of process and meetings and papers that need to be done well – but in the end this is about getting things done; finding good sites and getting good quality homes built that work for the people who will live in them.