Keynote speakers

  • David Orr

    David Orr

    Chief Executive, National Housing Federation

    David is former president of CECODHAS-Housing Europe, has chaired the mobility taskforce, and also sits on the board of the Housing Finance Corporation. He was a member of the Social Investment Task Force and is one of the founding directors of My Home Finance, a social enterprise set up by the Federation to provide a new high street service offering affordable loans, money advice, bank accounts and linked savings accounts. Previously, David has been chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and of Newlon Housing Trust.


  • Peter Andrew

    Peter Andrew

    Deputy Chairman, Home Builders Federation

    Peter Andrew is Deputy Chairman of the Home Builders Federation and has a wealth of industry experience and an in-depth understanding of the issues affecting house builders.

    Peter started life as a Company Trainee QS at George Wimpey and during a career spanning 40 years progressed to become the UK Land and Planning Director - and a board member - at national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey UK. He was also one of the four practitioners who helped draft the National Planning Policy Framework for then Planning Minister Greg Clark. 

    Peter is also a Council member of the NHBC and Chairman of Burrington Estates – a West Country developer and advises a number of developers including Dorchester Group.

  • Bunmi Atta

    Bunmi Atta

    Construction Director, Optivo

    Bunmi is the Construction Director for Optivo and a member of the leadership team. Managing budgets in excess of £400million pa, she is responsible for delivering a 1,500 home a year programme across London, Kent Sussex and the Midlands.

    Bunmi has worked for Optivo, formerly Amicus Horizon, for 18.5 years and worked in the sector for over 25 years. As Regional Development and Commercial Property Director for Amicus Horizon, she was responsible for the London and Surrey development programme along with the corporate responsibility for the commercial property portfolio. Bunmi is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). She also holds a degree and post graduate diploma in town planning.

  • Barbara Brownlee

    Barbara Brownlee

    Executive Director Growth, Planning and Housing, Westminster City Council

    Before joining Westminster, Barbara spent 15 years working in London Boroughs, three as Director of Housing for Thurrock, before moving into the private sector. She worked first for a small project management business as a co-director, and then as MD setting up a new consultancy business for Pinnacle Public Service Group and delivering some of their successful housing PFI bids across the country.
    She worked in housing regeneration and delivered major programmes involving public and private sectors. She has been responsible for mixed tenure developments and major private finance deals, and in Thurrock set up a council owned company building award winning affordable housing which delivers an income stream for the council.

    She started in Westminster as Director of Housing and Regeneration responsible for the existing social housing stock in one of the world’s major cities and led on the development of 1,850 more affordable homes in Westminster, as well as delivering the city’s Church Street Housing Zone which includes over 3,000 new homes and associated commercial and other non-residential floor space.

    Barbara is now the Executive Director of Growth Planning and Housing for Westminster responsible for delivering the planning functions across the city as well as the newly formed Place Making team and the commercial property portfolio. She will use the new role to maximise the ability of Westminster to use its land, property, influence, powers, creativity and abilities to create attractive, prosperous and safe communities, places where people want to live, work and do business.

  • Eddie Curzon

    Eddie Curzon

    London Director, CBI

    Eddie joined the CBI in 2013, having worked with global infrastructure, engineering and defence-related companies in his previous role as Assistant Regional Director in London.

    Prior to joining, Eddie amassed more than 15 years’ experience from working in major professional services firms including Deloitte and BDO.

    As Director for the London region of the CBI, Eddie is plugged into the concerns of London’s businesses across every major policy issue, including housing. Eddie’s primary role is to ensure those concerns are represented to Government and City Hall on a regular basis.

  • Ben Derbyshire

    Ben Derbyshire

    Chair and President, HTA Design LLP and RIBA

    Ben is Chair of a design-based consultancy to the home building industry, specialising in placemaking, regeneration, architecture, masterplanning, urban design, landscape design, planning, technical design, communications and other disciplines. He has built up broad-ranging expertise through involvement in much of HTA’s work in regeneration, masterplanning, housing and mixed use design. Ben took office as the President of the RIBA for a two-year term in September 2017.

  • Andrew Drury

    Andrew Drury

    Managing Director, HATC Ltd

    Andrew has worked in the sector for over 30 years, firstly in development teams within housing associations, and since 1994 through his consultancy HATC Ltd. He chaired the first ever London Development Conference in 1987, has authored significant publications for the National Housing Federation, HCA, GLA, Shelter and others, continues to work at the development coal-face, is the main trainer for the sector and is beginning to realise how much he doesn’t know.

  • Mark Farmer

    Mark Farmer

    Founding Director and CEO, and Author, Cast Consultancy and The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model

    Mark has nearly 30 years of experience in the construction and real estate sectors and has become a recognised commentator and thought leader on a variety of issues.

    Mark has been at the forefront of emerging UK residential market segments such as build to rent and later living. He is also playing a leading role in modernising the construction industry through the adoption of greater levels of pre-manufacturing using more integrated and digitally enabled delivery models.

    Mark is a member of the RICS, Vice Chairman of the ULI UK Residential Council, a member of the BPF build to rent sub-committee and co-chairman of Constructing Excellence.

    Mark authored the October 2016 UK Government Review of the Construction Labour Market Model entitled ‘Modernise or Die’.

  • Jon Fitzmaurice OBE

    Jon Fitzmaurice OBE

    Director, Self Help Housing

    Jon has worked in housing and homelessness for over thirty years. He is Director of the Self-Help Housing Network and an Honorary Research Fellow at Birmingham University. Until 2016 he was a visiting Senior Fellow at Cass Business School. In the past he has run: the London Region of the National Housing Federation; been Director of Planning and Communications at London & Quadrant; and been CEO of National Homeless Alliance (now Homeless Link). Past board membership includes: NCVO; Shelter; Hyde Northside; Hyde Plus; St Mungos; Look Ahead; and CDS. He is currently a board member of Empty Homes Agency.

  • David Gannicott

    David Gannicott

    Group Director of Business Development, Hyde Housing

    David joined Hyde in 2013, as part of the Executive Management Team heading up the Group Business Development Directorate.

    Sitting on Hyde’s Group Board and the Group Investment Committee, David is also a director of Hyde PRS and Chair of Hyde Vale, their housing for sale subsidiary. David is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the business development directorate, which includes leadership of the development teams (London and South Coast); sales and marketing and Hyde's PFI operations.

    A senior sector leader, David has worked at executive strategic level in the housing sector for over 25 years.

    David’s experience is multi-faceted, spanning the private, public and voluntary sectors across all business disciplines with a particular focus on commercial asset management, growth and estate regeneration. He is also a Board Member of Raven House Trust alongside his responsibilities as a Justice of the Peace.

  • Diane Hart

    Diane Hart

    Group Director of Commercial and PRS, L&Q

    Diane Hart is L&Q's Group Director of Commercial and PRS.

    Diane has worked at L&Q for over 20 years and joined the Trust after completing a degree in Housing. Diane is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and has led on a number of major regeneration projects across London.  

    Diane is responsible for delivering a consistent, high quality and efficient service across L&Q's seven neighbourhoods.

  • Kerry Heath

    Kerry Heath

    Development and Sales Director, Hexagon Housing Association

    Development & Sales Director Kerry Heath has worked for Hexagon for over 21 years. She joined as a Development Officer and has been a director since 2007. Prior to Hexagon she worked for consultancy firm Walker Management. Kerry is responsible for overseeing the successful delivery of Hexagon's varied development programme. Kerry has an honours degree in Quantity Surveying and also holds an MA in Housing Studies. She is a Chartered member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH). Kerry chairs the Federation's London Development Group.

  • Christiane Lellig

    Christiane Lellig

    Campaign Director, Wood for Good

    Specialising in behaviour change and sustainability communications, Christiane has gathered extensive experience in the fields of energy efficiency and construction over the past 15 years. Following a postgraduate degree in Social Sciences, Marketing and Labour Law, she went on to work as a consultant for industry and government organisations in Germany, Switzerland and the UK. She has led national research programmes and behaviour change campaigns in various domains, ranging from environmental concerns to labour and social justice issues.

    In 2016 Christiane was appointed campaign director for Wood for Good, the timber industry’s sustainability campaign. The campaign promotes the use of wood in design and construction highlighting timber’s potential to address the housing crisis through fast build times and offsite fabrication methods, environmental and health benefits. More information can be found on the campaign website www.woodforgood.com.

  • David Lunts

    David Lunts

    Executive Director of Housing and Land, Greater London Authority

    David Lunts is Executive Director of Housing and Land at the GLA where he leads the work to establish the housing functions that devolved from the HCA and LDA to the Mayor of London in April 2012.

    From 2008 until May 2011 he was the Executive Director for London at the Homes and Communities Agency.

  • James Murray

    James Murray

    Deputy Mayor, Housing and Residential Development, Greater London Authority

    James Murray joined the Mayor's Office in 2016 as Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, coming from Islington Council, where he held the position of Executive Member for Housing and Development for six years. During James’s time in Islington, the borough was one of the top building local authorities in the country. He oversaw the introduction of planning policies to raise the proportion of affordable homes in new developments, including a new standard for viability assessments.

    In the Mayor’s Office, James is focusing on bringing together a broad alliance – including councils, housing associations, developers and businesses – to support plans to build more new and affordable homes in London. He is advising the Mayor on planning policy, particularly helping to develop and implement new approaches to housing. He is overseeing work at City Hall to improve the private rented sector and tackle homelessness, in line with the Mayor’s priorities.

    James advised the current Mayor during his selection and election campaigns. Before taking a position on Islington Council’s executive, he worked in Parliament and for a management consultancy. He has lived his whole life in London, and currently lives near King's Cross.

  • Andrew Shaw

    Andrew Shaw

    Partner, Bevan Brittan LLP

    Andrew is a property partner within Bevan Brittan's housing practice, with 17 years' experience of advising housing associations and local authorities on all aspects of land acquisition and disposal, development and regeneration. In particular, his recent work includes advice upon joint ventures between a number of large housing associations and a variety of partners, including local authorities and other public bodies, for the delivery of housing-led development, often involving the set-up and use of housing vehicles.

  • Charles Solomon

    Charles Solomon

    Development Viability (Expert) Advisor, Greater London Authority

    Charles is the development viability expert at the GLA, supporting the Mayor of London’s plans to deliver housing, particularly affordable housing. Previously he has been a consultant at Gerald Eve, head of development valuation in VOA, commercial property specialist and developer. He has worked on various working parties - for Government, Planning Gain Supplement and CIL, for RICS valuation guidance notes, including ‘Financial Viability in Planning’, ‘Valuation of Affordable Housing Land’ (which he chairs), and ‘Valuation of Development Land’. Most recently he has worked on the Mayor of London’s Affordable Housing and viability SPG, and the emerging London Plan.

  • Isobel Stephen

    Isobel Stephen

    Director of Housing Supply, Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

    Isobel is an experienced director who has worked in the civil service for 20 years. Since early 2015 she has been Housing Supply Director at DCLG, with responsibility for strategy, design of programmes and relationships with the developer sector, mortgage lenders and institutional investors. She works closely with colleagues in the Homes and Communities Agency.

    Prior to moving to DCLG Isobel worked in a variety of policy, programme and delivery roles across government, largely at DWP but also including jobs at the Department of Health, Number 10 and running JobCentre Plus offices.

  • Andy von Bradsky

    Andy von Bradsky

    Chairman and Design and Delivery Adviser, The Housing Forum and Department for Communities and Local Government

    Andy is an architect and consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the design and delivery of housing and regeneration for the private and public sector. He draws from extensive experience as former Chairman of PRP, an architectural practice specialising in housing in England. He is currently working with DCLG as a design and delivery advisor supporting estate regeneration programme and the Government’s design quality initiative. He is a Chairman of the Housing Forum, a cross housing industry membership organisation, and a member of the NHBC Foundation Expert Panel. He participates in design review and provides expertise as a registered Design Council CABE Built Environment Expert and member of the Design Review panel for Design South East.

  • Nick Walkley

    Nick Walkley

    Chief Executive Officer, Homes England

    Nick Walkley joined the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) as Chief Executive in March 2017. Nick has extensive local government experience, most recently as Chief Executive of Haringey Council and previously as Chief Executive of Barnet Council. Nick has led the delivery of a number of high profile housing and regeneration schemes, including the £1bn large-scale regeneration of the Tottenham area, which is expected to create 5,000 new jobs, 10,000 new homes and more than 1m square ft. of new employment and commercial space. Nick is listed in Local Government Chronicle’s ‘100 Most Influential in the Sector’ and Inside Housing’s ‘Public Sector Housing Most Influential’.

  • Matthew Waters

    Matthew Waters

    Partner, Bevan Brittan LLP

    Matthew is a partner within Bevan Brittan's broad housing practice. Matthew's principle areas of focus are advising local authorities and housing association on the regulatory, corporate and funding aspects of their housing strategies. This includes advice around the structure of potential transactions including housing revenue account issues, as well as advice on the transactional documentation. Recently, Matthew has undertaken significant work around the use of housing vehicles for local authorities and development joint ventures between local authorities and housing associations.

  • Christine Whitehead OBE

    Christine Whitehead OBE

    Emeritus Professor of Housing Economics, London School of Economics

    Christine Whitehead is Professor Emeritus in Housing Economics at the LSE. From 1990 - 2010 she was also Director of the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research at the University of Cambridge. Major themes in her recent research include the relationship between planning and housing; the roles of private and social renting in England and European housing systems; accelerating housing development in London; migration and the housing market; and the evaluation of government policies on home ownership and housing supply. Her latest books are Milestones in Housing Finance in Europe (with Jens Lunde) and Planning Gain (with Tony Crook and John Henneberry). She has been a regular current advisor to the CLG Committee on Housing Supply and was latterly advisor to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on ‘Building More Homes’. She was awarded an OBE for services to housing in 1991.

  • Paul Williamson

    Managing Director for Modular Housing, Swan Housing