Patience and flexibility key attributes to being a successful Site Manager

A Site Manager responsible for one of the biggest new developments at the heart of a Victorian South Coast seaside resort is celebrating after being shortlisted for a national award.

Chris Banfield is managing Gemselect’s Archery Gardens development in St Leonards, Sussex, bringing more than 100 new homes to the town using a mixture of new and refurbished buildings designed to return the historic site to its former glory.

He is one of 15 finalists from around England and Wales who will be competing for LABC Warranty’s Site Manager of the Year title at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Build Excellence Awards in London in November.

“An amazing experience”

LABC Warranty, which provides warranty cover for thousands of new homes throughout England and Wales every year, recognises the dedication and commitment it takes to deliver quality sites by rewarding site managers for their exceptional contribution to construction through the Site Manager Awards.

On winning the Site Manager regional awards for the South East, Chris said patience and flexibility were the two most important attributes to being a successful site manager.

He said: “It was a great privilege to be nominated, and an amazing experience to be a regional winner. I am now looking forward to meeting the winners of the Regional Finals and, importantly, keeping up our own good work to the best of my ability.”

The nature of Chris’s current site brings its own pressures and rewards. The scheme features restored homes from listed buildings and new builds designed to complement the historic nature of the location.

The Archery Ground, a former quarry later used by the Royal St. Leonard’s Archers in the centre of James and Decimus Burton’s 19th century holiday resort development, became home of the Hastings College of Art and Technology from the 1950s, until the college moved premises in 2010.

Chris added: “The visible transformation of the site from a derelict college to a well thought out housing development is rewarding to see. The sight of people being able to move into their new homes is also very satisfying.

“With such a diverse, locally well-known and much-loved site with so much heritage associated with Decimus Burton’s St Leonards, it’s not surprising how passionate and protective local residents have been with the progress of the site. I believe they’ll be pleased with the end result.”

More information about Archery Gardens development can be found here.

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