Diving into life in the Development team

From meeting with Parish Councils to helping design our new homes, it’s never quiet for our Development team.

Discover what it's like to work in our Development team

The Development team work closely with communities, councils and a range of other partners to build new homes for local people. Our Development Manager, Jo, has been at Hastoe since 2006. Her role means she's involved in every stage of the development process from finding a site to showing tenants around their new homes. Jo's development area stretches from Cornwall to East Sussex, so her role can involve a lot of travel time when she's visiting developments. We caught up with Jo on her office day to find out what her working life involves.

8:30am: Jo often arrives early on a Tuesday as it is her first working day of the week and she has lots of emails to catch up with. She usually starts with any urgent tasks and today is no exception as she continues handling the sale of two properties in Cornwall to Cornwall Council. As part of this sale, Jo contacts residents in the same scheme to let them know about an upcoming survey. 

10:00am: Jo and the team are busy filing documents into boxes and completing an inventory of all the paperwork, ready for a scanning company to pick-up and digitalise. She explains that this is needed to reflect the move to digital working post-covid. 

I like office days as they’re very important to learn what other people are doing and you can learn lessons from others. However, it can be hard to achieve focused work as different discussions and distractions can crop up throughout the day. I appreciate each team member's effort to come in for the team day as some people live far out. It's nice to see that the office is full and lively."

11:30am: Jo and the rest of the Development team work closely with Parish Councils throughout the planning, building and allocation process. As Jo is attending a Parish council meeting in West Sussex tomorrow, she does some preparation work and speaks to the architects involved. The Local Authority is also going to be there so Jo makes some calls to go over the meeting agenda and their aims. 

It's never easy to achieve a scheme, we all put a lot of work in. When it comes together at the end (5-7 years later) you feel a great sense of achievement but it's a long build up to the results! Planning challenges are a big thing at the moment as there is lots of new legislation coming out and sometimes this can delay or stop planning. It's a big source of frustration as it's an external challenge. We try to mitigate by starting planning early but it can’t always be avoided."

2:00pm: After lunch, Jo continues her meeting preparation work and takes a look at the plans for the development. 

3:00pm: Jo's next project is an exciting one as she was recently informed that a developer had accepted Hastoe's offer on a new build scheme. It's been a quick turnaround after the offer so Jo is going to see them in a couple of days. Her next task of the day is to prepare for the meeting by appointing an employers agent and appointing solicitors for the project. She says: 

“It’s always good to have a new project. I like that you can get your teeth stuck into something fresh and the buzz that comes with it.”

4:00pm: Jo's day ends with a monthly team meeting. It gives the Development team a chance to catch up on all the projects coming up and discuss each team member's priorities. The team can help each other and everyone is happy to lend a hand. They end by talking through and agreeing on team targets and priorities. 

I am proud of the rural nature of Hastoe as we help lots of people that others can’t. Not many companies are around to help housing in small villages so you can see the difference we make when people are so happy. I also love that in Hastoe we approach the development role as a whole job, instead of splitting it into new business, on-site and defects. This means no day is the same and we get to follow through with the project. You pick up so many more skills as you cover so much and frequently see new scenarios."

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