Paul Westhead has joined the build-to-rent housebuilder as director of development from Trafford Housing Trust, where he was head of land and partnerships.
Westhead joins after spending seven years at the housing trust, first joining as head of new business before being appointed head of land and partnerships.
In his role, he helped to establish the Laurus Homes brand, the development and private housing arm of the trust, and worked on THT’s now-completed joint venture with housing giant L&Q.
For Placefirst, Westhead will lead the company’s development strategy as part of its aim to deliver 3,500 homes by 2023.
Westhead said: “Having enjoyed seven great years at Trafford Housing Trust, and achieved significant growth and diversity, I believed it was the right time to seek a new challenge.
“The opportunity to join the Placefirst team, to build on the tremendous success they have achieved through their award-winning placemaking and community led developments, was one I could not turn down and I look forward to helping the organisation scale up to meet the housing need of our communities.”
David Christie, chairman of Placefirst, added: “We are delighted that someone of Paul’s calibre, with proven experience of large-scale housing delivery, has joined the Placefirst team.
“Paul will play an important role in the next phase of growth towards becoming a national leader in UK build-to-rent housing. There is a genuine need for developers to work with local authorities in the UK to address the acute shortage of housing for families, and Paul has demonstrated considerable success in building strategic relationships.
“During the course of our partnership, Placefirst has enhanced its operational capabilities and, as importantly, with the support of a committed capital facility from ESO Real Estate, Placefirst has been able to access more deals and execute its business plan more effectively, delivering more value and more homes.”