Westbury is in talks to redeploy some of the 100 Prowting staff who will lose their jobs following Westbury’s takeover of the rival housebuilder.
Colin Cole, Westbury’s deputy general manager, said some of the redundant staff would be given roles within the enlarged group. Westbury froze recruitment when it entered talks to buy Prowting and now has 90 vacancies outstanding. Cole said Westbury would seek to fill these with Prowting staff.

Cole said: “We are talking to staff individually to see if we can place them in the positions we have at Westbury. Realistically not everyone will get jobs or have suitable skills.”

He added it was hard to say how many would eventually lose their jobs until this process was over.

Cole said the job losses were relatively low because the two companies were a good fit. Westbury is keeping Prowting’s south-west and south-east divisions, which are based in Bridgewater and Dartford respectively. Prowting’s central and western divisions, based Bromsgrove, Swindon and Ruislip, are to close.

Westbury has set aside £4.5m to cover redundancies and other costs, but expects to make savings of £7m a year from 2004. The £141m deal, which was finalised last week, makes Westbury the UK’s sixth largest housebuilder, with unit sales of more than 5200 a year and turnover of more than £800m. Westbury now has 10 divisions.