Joining our property development team in the Thames Valley, new Associate, Miles Collison, specialises in residential development consultancy, negotiating option/promotion agreements, development viability and secured lending valuation for residential development sites.

We spoke to Miles to find out a bit more about him, and what made him join team Vail Williams.

Where are you joining Vail Williams from?

A housebuilder in Reading – Lioncourt Strategic Land based at Green Park, where I was sourcing new greenfield residential development opportunities for them. Before that, I worked for Strutt & Parker in their development and planning team in Oxford.

What do you specialise in?

My main focus is on residential development opportunities, ideally greenfield sites on the edge of settlements that can accommodate 50+ houses, as well as urban regeneration opportunities.

What attracted you to your new post at Vail Williams?

The role at Vail Williams represented a fantastic opportunity to get back into development consultancy/agency with a well-established firm that has such a good reputation. This is an ideal platform to grow the residential development business and feed in additional work to the planning team.

What are your ambitions in the role?

I would like to establish a strong pipeline of land that will produce planning work and land sales in the coming years, whilst trying to give some of our competitors a run for their money!

What’s the best thing about working in property, and why?

It’s a bit of a cliché but every day really is different, it is a fun, social, challenging and satisfying business with a lot of interesting people. For me, getting a deal over the line is always a great feeling.

What was your first ever job?

If you don’t count summer jobs picking/collecting cider apples in Herefordshire, then my first real job was working as an estate agent in Abergavenny.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Always put yourself in the shoes of the person/client you are dealing with, then think how you would respond.

If you had to recommend a good book, what would it be, and why?

‘A line in the sand’ by James Barr. A fascinating insight into the origins of what has become the tragedy in the Middle East. British and French duplicity at its worst.

Tell us a surprising fact about yourself

I once appeared as a soldier in an amateur production of ‘O What a Lovely War’. I would like to say that this was my only stumble into amdram, however I was also in 42nd Street and Me and My Girl – the folly of youth!

Have you ever had a hair-raising moment, if so, what was it?

Being rushed in an ambulance across Sicily to hospital in Palermo after a suspected brain aneurism – thankfully it turned out to be an easily fixed ruptured blood vessel. ‘Hair-raising’ might not be the word for it though, as I returned home with a totally shaved head and was a few stone lighter after my 2 week recovery in hospital!

What’s your favourite band?

I have an eclectic and eccentric music choice so no one band – ‘Absolute 80’s’ is the radio station of choice in my car though, so that gives you an idea!

If you could work in any other profession, what would it be and why?

I have an interest in sport and travel and would love the ability to write professionally – so a life as a sports journalist would be pretty good.