Only days after joining the Wakefield-based developer, 44-year-old Sarah completed her first half marathon, the Great North Run, in two hours 23 minutes – seven minutes faster than her target time.
Sarah, from Selby, is now pacing herself to help grow Redrow’s business across the Yorkshire region through identification of forward land that can be optioned and run through the planning process over a period of several years; while at the same time supporting the existing land team that’s more focused on short-term land.
“My main role is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. I’m mostly looking at sites that may not have been earmarked for housing yet, but have the potential to be developed in the future. I’ll work with landowners and local authorities to get them allocated, through to a planning consent and beyond,” the keen runner and fell walker explained.
A prime example of the kind of site Sarah will champion is the 146 acres of land at Monks Cross North, in York, where Redrow hopes to develop almost 970 homes and a new primary school as part of a new ‘garden village’. “We’re currently involved in the dual process of pursuing an outline planning consent and working with the local authority to bring the land forward for adoption in the York Local Plan,” she added.
Sarah has joined Redrow after six years with Bellway Homes, most recently as strategic land director for Yorkshire, North West and Manchester. Previously she spent five years in the Leeds office of the Pegasus Planning Group – working largely with housebuilders – after beginning her career in planning officer roles, firstly with Selby District Council and then the City of York.
“I enjoyed my time in local authority and it gave me a good understanding of the process involved in identifying suitable housing sites,” said Sarah, who undertook a diploma in Town & Country Planning after completing a history degree and Masters in historical research.
"What I love about working for a housebuilder is the opportunity to be involved through every stage of the process."
“However, what I love about working for a housebuilder is the opportunity to be involved through every stage of the process, from identifying the site, tying it up, taking it through the planning system, seeing the streetscene take shape and, most importantly, getting to see the excitement of people moving into their new homes.
“I’ve always admired the Redrow product, from the quality of the homes they build to the sites they choose and their commitment to creating a sense of place, so when the chance to join them arose, I jumped at it.”
Redrow’s Wakefield operation builds circa 450 new homes per annum and has developments underway across a wide area, including sites in or near York, Harrogate, Leeds, Wakefield and Huddersfield.
Managing director Paul Oldridge said: “Sarah’s arrival is very timely, at a point when we are looking to grow our activity and expand our presence. Her broad experience of local authority, planning consultancy and housebuilder roles is exactly what we need. While she’ll primarily be driving our forward land strategy, which is a key part of Redrow’s future growth, Sarah’s knowledge and experience will also contribute to our wider land remit, including finding more immediate opportunities that already have planning consent or have at least been allocated for housing.”
See www.redrow.co.uk/yorkshire for details of where Redrow is currently building.
Caption: Sarah Carr, planning director, Redrow Homes (Yorkshire)
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