Carden Group

From left: Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, Morgan and Will Heath. Credit: via Active PR

Steve Morgan launches strategic land business

The Redrow founder has teamed up with the group’s former development director Will Heath and ex-Taylor Wimpey executive Harry Aubrey-Fletcher on the new venture, named Carden Group.

Carden said that the business will provide a new opportunity for farmers and other landowners “to cut through red tape and sell land with development potential early in the planning process”.

The partners have worked together for over 15 years through various business associations and collaborations. The new company is run from offices in Cheshire and Buckinghamshire and operates UK-wide.

Heath, who takes up the mantle of chief executive, said: “Developing land in the UK has become increasingly challenging, with significant levels of red tape, protracted lead-in times and substantial levels of capital required to secure planning permission.

“With our industry-leading experience, flexible business model and substantial cash reserves we can take a flexible approach that reflects landowners’ circumstances, making decisions quickly without the need for external funding.”

Heath continued: “Our focus is on buying freehold land with future development potential for larger residential-led projects requiring substantial capital investment and expertise, whether it be draft or allocated sites, or land with longer term prospects.

“The goal is to deliver high quality placemaking and thriving new communities. Once planning permission is achieved, the land will then be sold to local, regional or national housebuilders who share the same values.”

Carden Group has already acquired its first site – a 220-acre parcel of agricultural land near Exeter – and said it is close to acquiring two further sites, which between them would deliver 1,100 homes.

Heath, who spent 12 years at Redrow and its strategic land arm Harrow Estates, is also chief executive of the Bridgemere Group and chairman of Castle Green Homes.

In April, Bridgemere secured consent at the third time of asking for a mixed-use scheme at Christleton Hall, near Chester.

Since retiring from Redrow in 2019, Morgan has remained busy as chairman of the Bridgemere Group of companies, which has interests in aviation, healthcare, UK and overseas property, homebuilding and hotels. He started Redrow in 1974.

Aubrey-Fletcher previously worked at Taylor Wimpey as strategic land director overseeing major strategic development projects across the UK. Prior to that he spent six years at JP Morgan advising housebuilders and construction companies.

Alongside his role at Carden Group, Harry is a director of a family farming business.

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