Paul Morrell one of few industry leaders recognised as architects, developers and housebuilders miss out

The construction sector has had one of its poorest showings in recent history in the New Year’s Honours list.

It is thought that the lack of recognition for industry figures was partly the result of the economic downturn and partly because of the number of sporting personalities honoured.

No architects, housebuilders or property developers appeared on the 2009 list. Paul Morrell, the former senior partner at Davis Langdon, and Val Lowman, the head of community development and sustainability at Bovis Lend Lease, topped the brief list of private sector construction figures. Both received OBEs.

Several civil servants were honoured, including Richard McCarthy, director-general of housing and planning at the communities department, who was awarded a CBE.

Graham Watts, the chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said the industry had been squeezed out by the heroes of the Beijing Olympics.

He said: “It was very thin on the ground for construction this year, but the number of awards given to sportsmen and women increased hugely owing to the Olympics. Unfortunately, there are only so many to go round.”

Watts, who received the OBE in last year’s list, added that construction usually received fewer honours than it deserved.

He said: “The industry has always been under-served by the honours system. There are a hell of a lot of people in this industry well beyond due for recognition.”

Other notable recipients of honours included Peter Dixon, former chair of the Housing Corporation, who was knighted; Gideon Amos, chief executive of the Town and Country Planning Association, who received an OBE; Christine Boyle, managing director of Lawell Asphalt Roofing, who received an MBE for services to women’s industry in Northern Ireland; and Peter Hindle, chief executive of Saint-Gobain Distribution UK, who received an MBE.

Honourable mentions

Also included in the New Year’s Honours were:

Paul Morrell, Val Lowman and Sir Peter Dixon were all on the list


Robert Upton, secretary-general, Royal Town Planning Institute
Deborah Shackleton, chief executive, Riverside Housing Group


Keith Barwell, chairman, West Northamptonshire Development Corporation
Marcial Hernan Echenique, head of architecture, Cambridge university
Edward Norman King, lately principal technical policy adviser, sustainable buildings division, communities department
Professor David Mark Shucksmith, professor of planning, Newcastle university
Geoff Snow, member of ConstructionSkills council


Sandra Forsythe, chair, Glasgow Housing Association
Barry Albert Haseltine, consultant engineer
Terry Lazenby, chairman of Engineering Construction Industry Training Board