The Octagon Group appoints Group Operations Director, James Silverthorne


With extensive experience spanning all four corners of the property industry, James Silverthorne recently joined The Octagon Group, undertaking the roles of Group Operations Director and Board Member.

Before starting a degree in Construction Management, James spent many years working on building sites alongside family friends, enjoying learning the inner workings of a busy construction site – a skill he would later develop and put into practise himself.

However, with a strong passion in architecture, the new graduate’s head was originally turned to technical drawing, working in a drawing office for Housing Association Aldwyck Housing Group (now part of Peabody). The draw of building sites prevailed, with James swiftly moving into Project Management of smaller developments, working alongside contractors on both new build and refurb projects.

The private sector then came calling – with a role at Annington Developments hard to turn down, especially when it involved leading a number of masterplans and large-scale developments, including Millbrook Park in North London.

James comments; “I joined just as construction began at Millbrook Park, so was heavily involved in the very early infrastructure and demolition, working closely with the JV partner, Countryside. It was the first big, multi-phase regeneration project I got involved with, so it was very exciting.”

It was around this time that James heard about Octagon, with the luxury housebuilder having a strong north London presence in the high-end property market.

“People knew who Octagon were; the company’s reputation was, and still is, incredibly strong within the industry.

However, with a young family at home, James chose to explore the world of self-employment, consulting on significant projects including commercial units within Borough Market.

“It was a bit of a change and a challenge, but it was the right time to do it. It worked well with my family life and gave me valuable experience at this point in my career – you think you know about construction, but there’s so much more to learn and I’m glad I got to diversify. Having this experience has no doubt helped my career and overall understanding of such a complex industry.”


Following this, James joined St George as a Project Director in 2012, managing the Beaufort Park development in Hendon.

“At the time I joined, there was a limited team on site for a development of 3000 homes. We built a team that enabled the delivery strategy to change from being main contracted to a self-build – I ended up overseeing the delivery of around 2000 homes across 6 years before moving on to other pre-planning schemes in Ealing and Hammersmith.”

Taylor Wimpey’s East London business was James’ next logical step – utilising his commercial experience to build a 750 home mixed use scheme including a large sports centre in Leyton.

Almost four years later and with his children now grown, a familiar name began cropping up once more – Octagon were on the lookout for a Group Operations Director, and a mutual contact made the introduction between James and Octagon Group CEO, Tim Banks.

“I was ready to not be part of a PLC. As much as I enjoyed and relished the experience, after years of layers and layers of decision making, I was ready to start making them on my own.”

“Octagon as a brand is sacred and robust, and the diversifying over the past few years only adds to this. It’s fantastic to have everything in one building, from site managers to architecture to customer service – there’s a cohesiveness you won’t get with other housebuilders and it’s my job to bring the teams together to be able to deliver it all with balance and utilising the fantastic skillsets and expertise we have, to work smarter and more effectively.”

Tim Banks, CEO of The Octagon Group comments: “James is already a huge asset to the Octagon Group. His experience is unrivalled – he’s done it all, which leaves him incredibly well placed to help every team move forward, streamline our processes, and build on the current business strategy.”

“As we look to increase output through the Chancery Homes upper mid-market brand, we couldn’t ask for a better person to be overseeing the teams – we’re thrilled to have him on the Board, and look forward to seeing what we can deliver together.”

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