BD columnist leaves Dartington Hall after three years

Martyn Evans is rejoining developer U&I less than three years after he was lured away to do rural regeneration in Devon.

Martyn Evans index

Martyn Evans

Evans, a BD columnist, will restart as creative director of the developer on March 18.

He was appointed development director at the Dartington Hall Estate in Devon at the end of 2016 where he led a regeneration development programme supporting its housebuilding, social enterprise, retail, tourism, arts and education aims.

While there he appointed Invisible Studio, Mae, Henley Halebrown, the AOC and We Like Today to work on feasibility studies, with Ash Sakula working on the first residential scheme for the 1,200-acre charitable estate.

Evans said: “I’ve loved my time at Dartington but London has always been where I feel most at home. The pull was too strong. And the chance to go back to U&I was impossible to say no to.”

He said he had “learnt a great deal in a place that’s very different from the city centres where U&I traditionally operates. But I come back to the company at a hugely exciting time, full of ideas, inspiration and purpose to sort out what feels, for me, like unfinished business. It feels very good to be back together with a team that I have always felt are the best in the industry.”

Richard Upton, deputy chief executive of U&I, said they had poached him back because, “Quite frankly, he is best in class and being best in class is our corporate ambition.”

Evans, who is also deputy chair of the London Festival of Architecture, was appointed non-executive chair of Croydon council’s housing development wing Brick by Brick last month.

He was working as creative director of developer Cathedral at the time it merged with Development Securities to form U&I in 2016.

U&I has since built an £11bn pipeline of mixed-use regeneration across Greater London, Dublin and Manchester.