The newly appointed managing director for housebuilder Dandara’s Southern division has his sights set on growth in the south. Richard Matthews (pictured) intends to transform the company into a major player in the southern sector, concentrating on buying up land and increasing turnover.
"My main priority is to grow and build the business as soon as possible," says Matthews. "We have a great team and are positioned well from our central Southampton office, so all the foundations are here – we just need to add a few more ingredients to it."
Matthews has joined Dandara from Riverdale Developments, a Surrey-based housebuilder where he was a hands-on MD, looking after all aspects of the business activities. During his three years in the role, he doubled the annual rate of house building and developed a business plan to continue sustainability and growth. Prior to that, he was commercial director for Linden Homes South East, developing iconic London apartment blocks as well as traditional housing in Kent, Sussex and Surrey.
"The south and south west of England is a new area for me, but it’s a region that is experiencing sustained growth, and that’s where we need to be growing the business and becoming a major player," he explains. "My main priority is to strengthen the business’ landholding in the region."
When it comes to new developments, Matthews will be concentrating his search on looking for medium to larger packages of land around existing developed areas. "Covid has brought about a shift in demand," he explains. "People’s perceptions have changed and working from home is now a factor to consider: many want to live outside of towns in more of a village environment, still with good transport connections. We need to be flexible with our thinking as well as our living."
It's a strategy that is already working well for Dandara Southern. Its development of two, three and four-bedroom homes at Drayton, for example, is in a quiet residential area just to the north of Portsmouth, giving it the benefit of being close to both town and countryside.
Dandara was established in 1988 from the desire to provide innovative homes and commercial properties that would offer real value for money without compromising on design, durability or quality. Today Dandara is one of the UK’s largest independent property development companies, with over 10,000 customers and more than 100 industry awards for design and quality. Dandara specialises in creating practical, comfortable homes that provide quality and value for years to come and include lots of 'extras' as standard.