John Armitt appointment unveiled as housebuilder posts strong results

Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt will join Berkeley group as its deputy chairman, the housebuilder has revealed.

Armitt will become a senior independent director before taking over as deputy chairman at the next annual general meeting.

Berkeley chairman Tony Pidgley unveiled the move as the group posted strong half-year results, with pre-tax profit up over two thirds to £101m and turnover up 20% to £405m.

Pidgley said: “The localism agenda and the government’s Plan for Growth represent the most significant changes to the housing industry for a generation.

“When implemented effectively, I believe localism will achieve housing and economic growth at the same time as ensuring powerful local engagement, decision making and benefits for local communities.

“The challenge for government policy at both national and local level is to reduce the burden of unnecessary red tape, regulation and bureaucracy that acts as a barrier to more housing by slowing delivery, in some cases by more than a year, following a resolution to grant planning.

“Without addressing this issue, I fear planning on a large scale will become the sole preserve of the strongest and most financially secure developers which will be detrimental to the desire to increase supply and competition to stimulate economic growth.”