Rapidly expanding housebuilder hires former St Modwen executive

Housebuilder Avant has appointed former St Modwen executive Ashley James to be its new land director for the West midlands.

The Chesterfield-based builder said James, who has 30 year experience in the industry, would be given responsibility for sourcing and securing l development opportunities throughout the region.

Ashley James, Avant Homes West Midlands' land director

Ashley James, Avant Homes new West midlands land director

James joins from the northern division of St Modwen, where he also had the title of land director. James said Avant Homes acted quickly and decisively when it comes to acquiring new development sites, and praised the firm’s “refreshing approach”. He said: “There are a number of deals which we are currently negotiating on that will allow us to deliver more of our highly successful aspirational new homes in popular locations.”

Avant currently operates across the Midlands, the North and Scotland from eight regional businesses. James’ appointment is the latest hire in a rapid planned expansion by Avant, which is run by controversial former Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn following a reverse takeover by Yorkshire builder Berkeley de Vere in 2021, backed by investment firm Elliott Advisers.

Avant has said it has plans to triple in size to build a business selling 6,000 homes per year, and in February opened a new region in the North west.