The re-branded Larkfleet business appoints Darren Jones to help drive firm’s growth strategy

Lincolnshire-based housebuilder Allison Homes Group has appointed former Miller and Persimmon exec Darren Jones as its new chief operating officer as it seeks to quadruple in size.

The £126m turnover housebuilder formerly known as Larkfleet, which this summer secured a re-financing to support an expansion to deliver 2,000 homes a-year, said Jones “will have a key role in driving forward the company’s ambitious growth strategy.”

Larkfleet and its existing SME subsidiary Allison Homes were last year bought out by funds managed by US investment giant Pimco for an undisclosed price.

Darren Jones Allison Homes

Darren Jones (pictured, left) comes to the business most recently from Miller Homes, where he was divisional managing director for the midlands and the south from 2013. Prior to that he was regional chair of Persimmon’s Southern region from 2007, and earlier still had stints at Bryant and Gleeson Homes.

The former carpenter and joiner said: “Allison Homes seems to be the perfect combination of housebuilder in the current environment. Big enough to be very ambitious, but not so corporate that it forgets its customers and stifles innovation. I love the focus and financial discipline that private equity gives to a business and look forward to bringing my experience – from banging in nails on London building sites in the 1980s to managing large businesses – to help the Allison team on its journey.”

Allison Group built 444 homes in the 15 months to September 2021 according to its most recent accounts, posted in July, meaning delivery of its planned expansion to 2,000 homes a year would require growing to more than four times its current size.

The summer re-financing consisted of securing a £20m five-year term loan from HSBC plus a £100m five year revolving credit facility with HSBC and NatWest.

John Anderson, group chief executive at Allison Homes said he was “delighted” at the appointment and that Jones “brings great experience of the industry and particularly of working in a private equity environment”.

Anderson, who joined then Larkfleet Group from Kier Living in June 2020, said: “We remain committed to our long-term growth plans across our operating regions and will be opening a new east Midlands region shortly.”