Lockley Homes is headed by myself, my brother Tom Lockley and our chairman Martin Fitzpatrick. We initially refurbished properties, then moved into building one house at a time, and now larger developments of up to ten homes.
Our latest project at Honeybourne, near Evesham, is well underway and will deliver eight properties – two 2 bedroom houses, three 3 bedroom houses, two 4 bedroom houses and one 2 bedroom bungalow.
We started by creating decent student digs out of old pubs, and after several of these we had accumulated a cash-pot that we decided to use on what you might call, illustrious
housebuilding. We started with two homes in Great Witley, near Malvern in Worcestershire, which went really well.
We used the money from that to design and build three bungalows in Drakes Broughton, near Pershore in Worcestershire. These sold quickly off-plan via online marketing. We realised that our bungalows were definitely a bit unique.
The next development was six units in Feckenham, near Redditch in Worcestershire, three of which were bungalows with the same sort of design but with a few changes to features, and this time we built three cottage- style homes as well. Again, these all sold quickly off-plan, and we gained around £400 per square foot in sales, which is pretty strong for that part of the Midlands.
Currently, we have recently completed Colwall Gardens, nine stunning homes near Malvern, which are now fully occupied and we are approaching completion of Kingsbrooke on a site opposite, which has a range of two and four bedroom houses, apartments and bungalows.
My brother Tom and I are very much in this together. Tom’s on site, in his high-vis and boots, and has all the construction skills, while I’m in a suit in the office, meeting landowners, lawyers and planners. We’re opposites, chalk and cheese, and through combining our different skills we’ve got real strength.
After school, Tom went straight into construction for various companies learning the trade from the bottom up, while I went to the University of Reading to study Real Estate, Investment and Finance. A few years ago we just thought we knew enough to put our own business together, and it’s gone from there.
When we moved into the Drakes Broughton development, we teamed up with an investor called Martin Fitzpatrick of the Sandpiper Group in Warwick. Martin has since become chairman of Lockley Homes and he is an established developer across all sectors – industrial, retail, office and residential.
He saw something he liked with our work and decided to invest in our company.
He’s become a mentor, bringing all his experience into our business, advising us on how to gather the right team – the right consultants, architects, lawyers, finance experts and so on. And from that platform he’s helped us to build things to another level, showing us how to be distinct and different.
He’s not just a shareholder, he’s our mentor and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.
As well as us we now have a fantastic team of ten full time staff with the ladies in the office as the backbone of the business. Darryl Swallow is our operations manager, Richard Kelley is our construction manager, and between us we pull together a good group of contractors, encourage team-thinking and show everyone the respect they deserve.
That starts on site where we work hard and ends on a Friday night over a beer, and that way of dealing with people not only keeps morale high but also maintains high quality in every aspect of our work. We’re all in it together.