Senior Development Manager

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Job Title                                  Senior Development Manager

Role Type                                Permanent, Full Time

Job Location                          Billingshurst, West Sussex

Reports to                              Development Director


The Company

From day one, Thakeham has been driven by a clear vision: to transform the way people think about new-built developments. 

Over 20 years later, that ethos is still very much alive, reflected in our numerous awards and enviable reputation in the sector. Today, Thakeham employs close to 250 people and has a forecasted revenue of £219 million in 2023/24.

An infrastructure-led community creator and strategic land promoter, Thakeham is committed to partnerships, innovation and creating amazing places to live and work. We are industry-leading in sustainability and biodiversity, committed to ensuring every Thakeham home is carbon-neutral in production, and carbon-zero throughout its lifetime use by 2025.

We pride ourselves on our ‘Infrastructure first’ approach, ensuring communities release the benefits of new development at the outset, rather than later in the process. We deliver social, affordable and retirement housing for some of the biggest housing associations and local authorities in the country.  Partners include the NHS England Healthy New Towns Initiative, the Plunkett Foundation, Social Value UK and we have been awarded a prestigious Gold Supply Chain School.

People are Thakeham’s most important asset, and this is reflected in the way we operate. We were proud winners of Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For in 2022 and recognised in the prestigious ‘Best Places to Work 2023’.

Our people enjoy excellent rewards and working conditions in an exciting and fast-growing business. We offer exciting career opportunities that are second to none, and are keen to develop, guide and support our employees, regardless of what stage they are in their careers.

We value diversity and encourage people to bring their full authentic selves to work. A Gold Armed Forces Covenant signatory and supporter of armed force’s charity Building Heroes, Thakeham operates a Talent for Development outreach campaign for military veterans and college leavers.

Work and fun should not be mutually exclusive and Thakeham offers a range of social events including quiz nights, BBQs and all staff parties. We run informal lunch and learns and take on charity challenges such as dragon boat racing. We encourage people to volunteer in their communities, offering two paid days per year to do so. Where roles allow our summer hours policy in June, July and August allows people to enjoy longer weekends with their loved ones and a flexible approach to working is available all year round.

At Thakeham we build communities, together.


The Department

The role is within Thakeham Strategic and specifically with the Development Executive department, where you will work alongside other pre-development roles within the business. 

The majority of your time will be spent working for Thakeham Homes. This is the housebuilding side of the business, promoting land, obtaining planning permissions and building out developments, under the Thakeham brand portfolio. 

We are looking for an experienced and motivated Senior Development Manager, with sound knowledge of the land, planning, design, engineering and other pre-development roles, to take projects through the pre-development process and beyond, from the initial securing of land opportunities, through to point at which the development has secured an allocation with involvement in the purchase and exit strategy. 


The Job Role

The primary responsibilities of the Senior Development Manager will be;  

  •  Working with the Land department, where required, to ensure that financial, legal and technical due diligence is in order
  • Responsible for negotiating and completing complex land agreements
  • Custodian of the Development and Planning Strategies to ensure that sites are deliverable and viable
  • Leading the internal project team, to take projects forward from the early pre-development stages
  • Ensuring that the project planning and pre-development programmes are clearly established and complied with 
  • Managing the internal Pre-Plan Process
  • Leading / attending external meetings with external stakeholders, as required
  • Managing project financial appraisals, including cashflows to ensure development viability
  • Inputting into S106 legal agreements to ensure scheme deliverability
  • Aid with land valuation / site purchase, as required
  • Aid with RP sales / site sales / third party land transfers / securing of third party rights, as required
  • Managing / coaching / mentoring junior team members, where required
  • Comply with all company policies and procedures and to uphold the Thakeham brand in all company dealings
  • To carry out any other duties consistent with the post that may be required from time to time, at the discretion of the company

This list is not exhaustive. Tasks will be allocated to reflect increasing levels of development and experience. 


The Required Skills

  • Experience of the development process, from land acquisition through to site delivery, including good knowledge of the planning process
  • Knowledge of / ability to run development financial appraisals and cashflows, combined with commercial awareness and acumen
  • Ability to negotiate
  • Project programming skills
  • Experience of legal process / documentation and awareness of relevant impact on projects and the wider business
  • Strong people management skills
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel & Outlook)
  • Excellent communication skills and confidence to liaise with people
  • Good attention to detail and organisational skills
  • Effective time management skills
  • Professional approach with high degree of discretion
  • Willing to be flexible and get involved with a wide range of tasks
  • Ability to work on own initiative and generate solutions
  • RICS accreditation whilst not essential, may be advantageous

The Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • Annual holiday allowance 26 days increasing to 27 after 3yrs service and 28 after 5yrs service (plus bank holidays)
  • Life assurance
  • Private medical insurance
  • Health screening
  • Pension scheme
  • Bonus scheme
  • Flexible working hours in a modern office environment / Working from Home Policy
  • Excellent development and progression opportunities for the right candidate
  • Company social events

Plus, a whole range of other employee benefits that we can tell you all about, our employees are rewarded for their performance, attitude and results.



Thakeham is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and treating people fairly. We will treat all job applicants and employees equally regardless of age, race, religious belief, colour, ethnic or national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. We welcome applicants from all sectors of society and we are committed to promoting an inclusive environment for all.


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