Urban Splash House Holdings, trading as House by Urban Splash – the newly formed organisation between Japan’s biggest housebuilder Sekisui House, Homes England and Urban Splash – has made two significant appointments, with Claire Kober and Mark Shirburne-Davies both joining the business.
Essex-born Ms Kober will take on the role of Independent Director and Chair of the Board, helping House by Urban Splash upscale its creation of homes using modular methods of construction (MMC). A dominant figure in the country’s housing sector, Claire is the MD of Homes at the Pinnacle Group where she is responsible for managing a portfolio of 24,000 mixed tenure homes across the UK.
She has also served at a senior level across local and national government, with past roles including Chair of London Councils, and council leader for the London Borough of Haringey; under Claire’s stewardship, it progressed from an underperforming authority to one of the country’s flagship councils.
Speaking of her appointment she said: “I have a huge interest in housing and there’s significant synergy between the work being done by House and my own passion for addressing the UK’s housing crisis. I am impressed by the company’s pioneering attitude, innovative approach and hope to lend my experience and insight to the organisation moving forward.”
Homes England interim Chair, Simon Dudley, said: “We’ve long said we’ll disrupt the housing market to increase the pace of construction and we’ve done just that by helping to bring Japan’s biggest housebuilder to UK shores to form a dynamic partnership with a leading SME builder. In Claire, House now has a highly experienced political and business operator at the helm and we look forward to seeing the organisation’s next steps to make homes happen.”
Mark Shirburne-Davies will also join House as director overseeing the delivery of more than 400 new homes at the Northstowe new town in Cambridgeshire.
Mark’s unique property career includes; construction director at Argent Related and COO for developer Pegasus Life, as well as three years in the UAE as Executive Vice President to ADAC – the fastest growing airport business in the world. He will apply his extensive knowledge in MMC that were developed leading Laing O’Rourke’s off-site manufacturing strategies, in Northstowe as House begins to deliver its first modular homes in the spring.
Both appointments come just months after House announced the £90m partnership with Japan’s biggest housebuilder, Sekisui House, and Homes England – one of the sector’s biggest ever modular deals. The dynamic collaboration is now accelerating the production of MMC homes – all of which are created in the House factory in the East Midlands – with ambitions to create thousands of new properties across the country each year.
Kenta Konishi, Chief Executive of Sekisui House in the UK said: “As we bring our own new ideas to the UK, it’s important we collaborate with people already well experienced in the market to help us achieve our House objectives. We look forward to learning from Claire and Mark’s track records in handling the challenges and complexities of the sector.”
While Urban Splash Group Chairman Tom Bloxham MBE concluded: “We are thrilled to bring Claire and Mark’s skills into our House business; Claire is a strong advocate for change and championing new ideas – something which will help us develop and make our homes accessible to more people – while Mark’s international expertise will help us deliver an impressive new town for Cambridgeshire.”
House homes are currently on sale at sites in Manchester, Birmingham and Cambridge, with properties soon available in Milton Keynes, the Lake District, the Wirral and Walsall.