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Colm Lacey, Founder and Chief Executive to step down, as Brick By Brick prepares to close

Colm Lacey, Founder and Chief Executive to step down, as Brick By Brick prepares to close

Brick By Brick Founder and Chief Executive to step down

Colm Lacey, the founder and chief executive of Croydon’s Brick By Brick is to step down from his role after six years. Read more in Property Week, Building Design, React and Building

Lacey has led Croydon’s housing development company since 2016, growing the business from its inception to deliver over 750 homes on a range of different sites throughout the south London borough.

Under Lacey, the company (which includes architecture practice Common Ground Architecture) pursued a progressive and socially conscious development model, delivering sustainable, design-led housing on small infill plots. The Brick By Brick programme was described in the AJ Architecture Awards as a ‘a truly pioneering piece of pan-borough urban thinking’ and has won a variety of industry awards.

By Autumn 2021, Brick By Brick will have completed construction of 460 homes across 18 sites previously owned by the council, and has another 311 homes under active construction across 5 sites. Of the completed homes, 56% are affordable of which more than half are to be council homes.

Lacey’s decision follows the recent decision by the Council to turn down an offer from Urban Splash to purchase the company. The Council has opted instead to wind down the council-owned housing developer on completion of the sites currently under construction.

Lacey will depart in the coming months after completing work on restructuring the business to ensure it is fit for purpose for the final wind down phase and setting the remaining development programme on course to maximise the value to the Council of the investments that they have made through the company as more units are completed and sold.

Colm Lacey, Brick By Brick chief executive, said:

“In 2016 we set out to prove that it is possible to deliver beautifully designed affordable housing on the kind of small plots which lay dormant throughout London. I’m delighted to say that we achieved this, with over 750 homes being delivered across 22 different sites.

With the council opting for a managed wind-down of company activities, it feels appropriate for me to step down after helping the company transition into its final phase. I’d like to thank my talented and resilient team who have worked with me over the years. I have no doubt that many will go on to become future leaders across the built environment. It has also been a pleasure to work with such a wide array of exciting young architecture practices, as well as our other dedicated partners, suppliers, contractors and consultants.

I will leave with excitement for the future, confident that the Brick By Brick development programme will continue to provide much-needed high-quality housing in Croydon, and stand as testament to the fact that good architecture and principled urbanism are possible even when budgets are tight.”

The directors of Brick By Brick said: “We would like to thank Colm for his commitment to the company, and in particular we would like to thank him and his team for their support in helping transition the company so that the current build out programme can be completed and value to the Council optimised as it tackles a number of complex financial difficulties”.