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Graven Hill appoints new managing director

A new managing director has been appointed to the Graven Hill Village Development Company tasked with leading the delivery of the UK’s largest self-build housing project.

Philip Singleton will join the team on 4 January 2016 where he will be responsible for managing the company employees, meeting the project’s targets and objectives and providing strategic guidance and direction to the board of directors.

He will also become an ambassador for Graven Hill, responsible for engaging with clients and stakeholders to ensure the self-build project is a positive experience for all concerned.

Sue Smith and Philip Singleton
Pictured: Sue Smith and Philip Singleton

He said:

“I am thrilled at becoming the new managing director for Graven Hill Village Development Company. I was especially attracted to the role because of the vision of Cherwell District Council in grasping the power to give people the real opportunity to create their own homes. To have a development site in a very good relationship to Bicester and the planning principles already approved, offers fertile freedom to self-builders.

“The scale of the site is unparalleled, so we can deliver one of the most profound challenges to the normal design and construction of new homes in the UK.”

Mr Singleton is passionate about how good design can change people’s lives and is especially driven by helping people live in better homes. Until last month (November), Mr Singleton was the chief executive of Millennium Point Trust and Millennium Point Property Limited based in Birmingham, a post he first took up in March 2012. Millennium Point was the regeneration catalyst for the Eastside quarter of the city and Mr Singleton developed a new vision to deliver exciting events and activities.

As a chartered architect in the private sector he ran three design businesses and as an assistant director at Birmingham City Council he was a city design advisor before taking on the role of director running the Big City Plan, the most significant change agenda for Birmingham in a generation. He also spent a year working in the London Borough of Newham on post-Olympic regeneration projects.

Sue Smith, chairman of the Graven Hill Village Development Company and chief executive of Cherwell District Council, said:

“Graven Hill is the first project of its kind within the UK so there is no point of comparison in terms of delivery. The managing director will be responsible for spearheading this initiative and it was important to ensure we made the right appointment to ensure the vision for Graven Hill becomes a reality.

“We are delighted to welcome Philip to the role and are confident he will successfully lead the project, transforming plots into residential and commercial properties and construction into communities. Graven Hill is about more than just a self-build scheme; it’s about giving people choices and the opportunities to build a society in which they are proud to live, work and socialise. With so much enthusiasm, passion and experience in the construction industry we are confident Philip will become an ambassador for all we are working to achieve at Graven Hill.”

For ten years Mr Singleton has been a judge for the British Construction Industry Annual Awards and the Prime Minister’s better Public Building of the Year. He has served on the boards of a number of organisations including MADE, The Architecture Centre Network and the Building Exploratory. He is currently a board member at the Birmingham Ormiston Academy and also chairs its Audit and Finance Group as well as the RIBA British Architectural Trust.


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