The Team

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Bryony Harrington

Head of the Right to Build Task Force

Bryony Harrington is Head of the Right to Build Task Force. Bryony joined the Task Force from Graven Hill, the UK’s largest custom and self-build development where she helped coordinate the project through the early stages of its set-up, well into the sales and construction phase. She was responsible for coordinating the team who led the first purchasers through the customer journey and for evolving, testing and executing the first large-scale self-build marketing campaign in the UK.

Bryony is also working on building a home near her family farm in Oxfordshire and is an ardent believer in the power of self-build to improve lives. Before Graven Hill she spent seven years working in the music industry, travelling the world as a Tour Manager for bands and running a live music production company.

Bryony will be on maternity leave from February 2021.  During her absence, Mary Elkington will be acting Head of the Task Force.  Mary is a planning consultant and a member of the Task Force Expert Panel.

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Vanessa Pike

Office Manager

Vanessa Pike is the Office Manager of the Right to Build Task Force, joining in September 2020. She works with the Head of the Task Force to support the smooth running of the organisation and is responsible for co-ordinating the panel of expert advisers, consultancy work and other Task Force projects.

Vanessa previously worked in the Property Management Team at the Dartington Hall Trust near Totnes for almost thirteen years. During her time at Dartington, she was involved in a wide range of property-related projects, including long-term strategic planning, feasibility studies and research for projects, co-ordination of activities and events on the Dartington Hall estate and liaison with tenants and other stakeholders.

Task Force Political Ambassadors

Task Force Political Ambassadors engage across local and national politics to initiate and lead support for custom and self-build.

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Richard Bacon MP

Task Force Ambassador

Richard Bacon is the Member of Parliament for South Norfolk. Before his election to Parliament in 2001, he worked in investment banking, journalism and consultancy. He served on the Public Accounts Committee for sixteen years, the last seven as deputy chairman.

Parliamentary colleagues have voted him the House Magazine’s ‘Backbencher of the Year’ and also ‘Commons Select Committee Member of the Year’ and he has twice been named The Spectator magazine’s Parliamentarian of the Year. Richard is co-author of the book ‘Conundrum: Why Every Government Gets Things Wrong – and What We Can Do About It’, published by Biteback Publishing.

He founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Self-Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Place-Making, and steered through Parliament a Private Member’s Bill which became the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015. He is now Ambassador for the Right to Build Task Force.

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Richard Lewis

Deputy Ambassador

Councillor Richard Lewis is the Executive Board Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, with responsibility for housing growth, planning, regeneration, highways and transportation and asset management, amongst other areas.

Richard has been a Labour Member of Leeds City Council since 1986, representing the Pudsey ward. He is now a full-time councillor but prior to retirement he worked in the public transport and social housing sectors.

A significant part of Richard’s Executive Board role covers the Leeds’s Housing Growth Strategy.He is passionate in ensuring that housing demand is met and that all housing is decent and affordable for people. Richard is helping Leeds to lead the way in seeking new solution to housing challenges, whilst protecting sites that are not suitable for development.A keen advocate of self-build community-led housing projects, Richard supported the pioneering LILAC co-housing development and continues to promote custom and self-build housing as an affordable alternative for first-time buyers and as a way to give greater choice over the type of homes being built. There is a growing community-led housing sector in Leeds and in 2016 Richard led the establishment of a self-build register at the City Council to assess the level of demand, potential locations and any assistance required.

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Barry Wood

Deputy Ambassador

Councillor Barry Wood has been a District or County Councillor for more than 20 years and is the current Leader of Cherwell District Council in North Oxfordshire which has been designated as a Right to Build vanguard Council by the Government. Barry has been instrumental in initiating the UK’s largest council-led Custom and Self Build project at Graven Hill involving 1,900 homes, which forms part of the Bicester Garden Town and is being brought forward through the Council owned Graven Hill Village Development Company.

Barry is a passionate advocate of Custom and Self Build housing as an affordable alternative for those struggling to get on the property ladder and as a vehicle which gives local people greater choice over the homes they live in. He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and is the current Chairman of the Strategic Delivery Board for Eco Bicester.

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Ted Stevens OBE

Deputy Ambassador

Ted is one of the UK’s leading self and custom build campaigners. In 2008 he set up the National Custom and Self Build Association, and he chaired it until 2014. He then worked on a research and development programme looking at how the UK could learn from the many innovative community and self build housing projects that have been built across Europe. This resulted in the launch of the Custom and Self Build Toolkit in Downing Street in 2015. He has strong contacts with government, the wider housing world and the media. He is supportive of community-led housing initiatives and is a Trustee for a south London based group that plans to build 33 very affordable new homes. In 2014 he was awarded an OBE for his work in the housing sector.

Task Force Experts

The Task Force’s panel of experts features practitioners from a variety of specialisms and disciplines including planning, housing, affordable housing, architecture, masterplanning, urban design and local politics. The experts also have other roles, including in private practice, as local authority officers and at Government agencies.

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Adam Broadway

Task Force Expert

Adam Broadway is a qualified town planner and has worked in the housing sector since 1987. He has held senior development and partnership director roles for 20 years, most recently with the Flagship Group. During his housing career he has delivered a range of new build housing and regeneration projects and brings practical experience in the design, procurement, and project management.

Adam is Managing Director of Instinctively Green Ltd and provides strategic sustainability advice to a range of businesses and has supported major masterplanning projects. Through Instinctively Green, Adam was the lead in setting up and delivering Cambridge’s first self commissioned Cohousing Project, k1. The 42 home development is now being constructed.

Adam has also delivered a number of stakeholder and public engagement exercises. These have included Design Enquiry, themed stakeholder workshops and public events, exhibitions and display material. Instinctively Green delivered the consultation strategy for the Bletchley Transport Strategy, stakeholder engagement as part of the Tamworth Climate Change Strategy production and with Taylor Young, the Woodford Aerodrome Design Enquiry.

Adam has experience of Board membership at national and local levels for charities, social housing and community organisations including the Urban Village project board and Crisis Trustee for 10 years.

He is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Chartered Institute of Housing. Adam holds a BA (Hons) in Planning Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Planning from Oxford Brookes University.

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Charles Acland

Task Force Expert

Charles Acland is Self Build Officer at Teignbridge District Council, having been appointed to the newly formed post in January 2015. Charles has over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry working for consulting engineers and architects on small scale housing projects.

He is also a serial designer, renovator and hands-on Self Builder so has an in-depth knowledge of the Custom and Self Build delivery process. Charles currently works in the Spatial Planning Delivery Team where his main responsibility is to facilitate the delivery of serviced building plots in line with the Council’s Local Plan policy which requires larger housing sites to bring forward plots for Custom and Self Builders. He also supports Council Leader Jeremy Christophers in his role as Deputy Ambassador to the Task Force.

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Jeremy Christophers

Task Force Expert

Jeremy Christophers has been actively promoting Custom and Self Build housing in Teignbridge since he first became the leader of Teignbridge District Council, where he was responsible for the adoption of the first Local Plan policy to secure serviced building plots on larger sites. In 2012 he visited Almere in the Netherlands with the then Housing Minister, Grant Shapps and was instrumental in Teignbridge District Council being designated as a Right to Build vanguard Council. He has also delivered presentations on Custom and Self Build at a national summit at 10 Downing Street in London and at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland.

Jeremy has self-built his own home, is a local businessman and a keen sportsman, having playing County cricket for Devon.

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Phil Cringle

Task Force Expert

Phil Cringle is a successful housing development professional, specialising in affordable and self/custom build housing. Over twenty-four years of experience, including project management, policy and procedure development and implementation, staff management and development, new business generation and development and sales programme delivery.

Over twenty years at a senior level, contributing to the overall management and development of organisations, including involvement at strategic and corporate levels. Phil originally trained, qualified and worked as an architect in Edinburgh. He then moved into affordable housing after undertaking a further course of post-graduate study in housing in Oxford.

Phil has worked for six different housing providers in Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and London, as well as, more recently, on the largest self and custom build development in the country at Graven Hill, Bicester, Oxfordshire.

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David Howel

Task Force Expert

David Howel is an MRTPI chartered town planner, urban designer and development consultant with over 20 years’ experience in various roles for national housebuilders, developers and planning consultants in Central Scotland.

David is a consultant with Assemble Collective Self Build and owner/director of Pegasus Consultancy, providing planning, development and urban design consultancy services to a range of landowner, developer, professional and community group clients in Scotland.

Specific skills include land identification/negotiation for market and affordable housing, development financial appraisal, development strategy advice, urban design frameworks, development plan promotion, planning applications/appeals and group governance options.

Recent and on-going project examples include lead planning/project management consultant for a new 1200 home community west of Edinburgh, project management of a 200 home mixed-used use planning application at Livingston, planning and financial viability appraisals for a number of smaller developers and co-preparation of a Self Build Roadmap for Scotland.

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Akiko Kobayashi

Task Force Expert

Akiko Kobayashi is an ARB registered Architect who has worked in architectural and engineering practice in London, Sydney, Tokyo and Edinburgh since 1992 on a variety of projects across sectors and teaching at Edinburgh University since 2014.

Currently, through Assemble Collective Self Build CIC, she works towards enabling community led development in the built environment which involves early stage strategic planning to help groups establish co-operatives, find land and source finance to build their own homes, and this year through Challenge Funding from the Scottish Government.

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Andy Moger

Task Force Expert

Andy Moger is an MRTPI chartered Town Planner and has worked in the planning sector since 2006. Tetlow King Planning are a leading town planning and development consultancy with their head office in Bristol, where Andy is an Associate Director. He has a wide range of experience in the preparation of town planning strategies from small developer single dwelling proposals through to large scale urban extensions for volume house builders and strategic land promoters.

Prior to joining Tetlow King Planning, Andy spent seven years in a range of planning roles across local authorities in the midlands and south west regions dealing with development plan document preparation, infrastructure delivery planning, Local Plan examinations, Section 106, large scale urban extension projects and affordable housing which gives him a strong insight into the way in which local authorities operate at officer and elected member level.

In his role at Tetlow King Andy acted as planning consultant for Carillion-Igloo Regeneration Partnership and Coastline Housing Association in successfully securing a hybrid planning consent for 54 Custom Build homes, 70 affordable homes and 20 open market dwellings on a former mining and industrial site in the town of Pool in Cornwall. The scheme was the first pilot implemented by Homes England to kick-start the Government’s commitment to maximising opportunities for Custom Build homes and tap into the growing demand from the British public to create their own unique and individual home.

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Paul Britton

Task Force Expert

Paul Britton is Senior Manager in the South West Land Team at Homes England. He is a qualified town planner and an experienced housing delivery specialist with over 15 years of direct experience supporting high quality projects throughout the UK. Paul has led numerous multi-million pound site acquisitions; prepared masterplans and planning applications; produced financial appraisals; and project managed the delivery of complex schemes through joint ventures. Paul has also been leading Homes England’s involvement in the delivery of custom build housing sites, including the delivery of the Custom Build housing project at Heartlands in Cornwall being brought forward by igloo.

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Julia Riddle

Task Force Expert

Julia is a planning consultant and Managing Director of Castle Planning. She has over 15 years experience in coordinating and undertaking a range of planning work, having previously worked for a global commercial real estate business. Her planning experience includes regularly undertaking appraisals of the planning opportunity of sites, provision of strategic planning advice, pursuit of sites through the planning policy process (including representation of clients at Examination in Public), preparation, submission and negotiation of planning applications and planning.

Julia has undertaken this work on a range of land use types, including commercial, residential, hotels and film studios and on sites from single dwellings up to urban extensions. This planning experience includes the coordination and management of multi-disciplinary teams, clients and involvement in all stages of the planning process. Specifically, Julia has been involved in the promotion and delivery of Self Build by directly advising clients and securing planning permission for Self Build developments and by planning advice at Grand Designs Live for over 10 years and with and for Built It for the last 4 years. Julia was also co-author of Planning for Custom Build, A Practice Guide (2012).

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Jacqueline Tellinga

Task Force Expert

Jacqueline Tellinga is the Task Force’s first international expert. She believes firmly that people should be able to shape their own homes and living environments. Experience in the Netherlands has shown that once the nitiative is relegated to local people, home building can create enormously diverse living environments. She has worked on Self Build-related projects for more than 10 years. As the project manager of the Homeruskwartier in Almere with 1,400 individual plots, she has been responsible for bringing forward the largest Self Build development in the Netherlands. From the development of the urban vision, helping galvanise political support and achieving consensus between stakeholders, through to practical implementation.

Jacqueline has been advisor to The Hague City Council on the establishment of a Custom and Self Build programme and is a member of the Dutch Government’s ExpertteamEigenbouw which advises municipalities nationally. Her latest project is the BouwEXPO Tiny Housing.

She is the author of various publications on how to protect the interests of individual citizens in the deregulation of planning and housing delivery and teaches at the University of Amsterdam.

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Honoré van Rijswijk

Task Force Expert

Over the years Honoré van Rijswijk has gained significant experience in major urban regeneration and development in Europe and emerging countries. This includes: city and regional strategies; developing Custom and Self-Build design codes and masterplans; public realm design and transport interchange initiatives.

Honoré founded collective with the intention to bring strategic spatial design to the foreground of urban transformation. The studio is passionate about effectively unlocking complex urban territories by introducing joined up thinking and responsive urban design instruments (codes).

Honoré’s appointments to join the Southwark, Richmond and Wandsworth Design Review Panels are consistent with his personal ambition to continue promoting place-shaping. Honoré has extensive academic experience and leads a landscape and urban research and design unit at the University of Greenwich in a part-time role.

Honoré has led the design and delivery of a wide range of plot-by-plot Custom and Self-Build projects in the Netherlands and United Kingdom. This includes the plot-by-plot communities New Stalberg, Almere Overgooi, Clippers Quay Estate and Mayland Neighbourhood plan.

Honoré considerable experience has given him the skill to efficiently and effectively guide and deliver successful large-scale Custom and Self-Build housing projects, through being open minded, collaborative and creative.

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Aaron Beecham

Task Force Expert

Arron joined the Right to Build Task Force in 2019 and is a town planner with several years’ experience working in strategic planning. He is currently employed by Mid Devon District Council where he has worked extensively to facilitate Custom and Self Build through local and neighbourhood plans as well as engaging with elected members, planners and local communities to promote this innovative form of housing. He also works as part of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan team.

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Mary Elkington

Task Force Expert

Mary is a chartered Town Planner and Director of independent planning consultancy Figura Planning. Mary has a mixed practice, supporting public sector clients undertaking policy, development management, evidence reports, and affordable housing contract work for councils and client-side application work, primarily for third sector and community/custom build clients. Mary’s areas of expertise include site assessments/appraisals, planning statements, heads of terms / s106 negotiations, housing market and affordability analysis and policy review and representations. She also has a unique specialism in post-occupancy residential research and statistical and geospatial data analysis.

Prior to founding Figura planning Mary worked as principal policy planner at Teignbridge where she led on infrastructure planning, CIL, and large-scale growth delivery. She managed the Self Build team at the time Teignbridge and wrote and implemented the first Local Plan percentage policy. Mary also has worked for upper tier authorities and civil engineers, and her first career involved working for public and private organisations dealing with geospatial systems and data.

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Thanks to Task Force Founding Director Mario Wolf

Mario Wolf set up the Right to Build Task Force while on secondment from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Instrumental to the introduction and implementation of the Government’s custom and self-build homes programme, which led to the introduction of the Right to Build, Mario bought enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to the Task Force, the first comprehensive implementation toolkit for custom and self-build housing in the UK. Since his secondment came to an end Mario has taken up a new role in the private sector.

The panel of experts is periodically reviewed to ensure it comprises the necessary skills and experience. If you would like to apply to become a Task Force expert and consider yourself an advisor, enabler, facilitator and/or active participant in the delivery of custom and self-build housing, you can get in touch by emailing bryony@righttobuild.org.uk