An industry insight Q&A with our MD, Stephen Byram

9th September 2019

Our MD, Stephen, answers a few housebuilding industry questions in this short blog...

 

What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?

 

At SB Homes, we’re experiencing strong demand for our housing. Based halfway between the big urban conurbations of the Leeds-Manchester corridor, there are plenty of employment opportunities which feed back into the housing market.

 

The new UK leadership seems to be engaging in a core strategy to promote the northern powerhouse, under government-led initiatives, which we hope will create further prospects.

 

What is the best project you’ve been involved in?

 

I’ve been involved in many successful projects with SB Homes.

 

Our first significant development was Clough Lea in a village called Marsden in 2000. It was a big step, taking us from six units to 50. A former mill, the development was a major financial and physical challenge. The houses set the bar of quality which we’ve upheld ever since.

 

Our current development, Empire Works, is also very rewarding because it has a great mixture of highly-designed properties, close to a village centre – they’re pleasing on the eye and plenty of people comment on their architectural appeal. The concept for the development was based on place-making and creating pedestrian links to the village centre, so that people can access local amenities without using a vehicle.

 

What is your favourite building in the region and why?

 

My family farmhouse. Growing up, I knew the house well from playing out and I always wanted to own it. I ended up buying and renovating it twenty years ago. It’s a typical 17th century Yorkshire farmhouse, with south-facing views – and has been a great place to live.

 

If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?

 

I would simplify the planning process, taking it out of local authority control and turning it into a dynamic regional body of property professionals.

 

Who has inspired you?

 

Margaret Thatcher. Irrespective of any political views, she was resilient, tough and a strong leader, who showed determination and a massive work ethic. She got by on her legendary lack of sleep, driven by her duty of care to the country.