Our new housing development at Amen Corner, Binfield, is taking shape, thanks in large part to the dedication of our Project Manager, Gary Hurley, who is very familiar with the area. Gary grew up in the area of Preistwood in the sixties, after his family moved to Bracknell from Ireland. He spent more than 26 years living in the area, and has a strong construction background, so he is the perfect appointment to manage the development of 377 new homes on this special plot.
When Gary first moved to the new town in 1962, there were hundreds of new homes being built and a selection of new shops, including the recently closed Bentall’s. New roads were also being constructed. Gary explains: “Getting around the area was becoming easier. However, we were still fairly limited on where to go and things to do. In comparison, today there are more recreational facilities for young people including shops, parks and restaurants.”
From humble beginnings attending Meadow Vale and later Garth Hill Comprehensive, Gary and his brothers found themselves playing field games out the front of the family home or attending the local youth club.
After leaving school, Gary was helped into the carpentry business by his older brother, William and went on to become an apprentice for a construction company in Camberley. He worked with various carpenters learning each aspect of the trade and attended Reading Collage of Technology where he earned his City & Guilds qualification. After nine years, Gary moved into management, first training as an assistant site manager progressing to contracts manager before joining Bellway in 2012. His current role has seen him recently scoop two NHBC Pride in the Jobs Awards.
Gary comments: “It’s a great opportunity to be working on the Amen Corner project. Having seen the town grow into what it is now, I am relishing the chance to contribute, constructing great homes again, in the area where I grew up.
“I commend the late John Nike for what he has achieved for Amen Corner, and while I could not ever match what he did, he has inspired me to want to give something back. It’s great I can now do that with Bellway Homes.
“Building homes that could possibly be for neighbours, friends, family and colleagues is inspiring me to deliver this project for the benefit of the whole community. It’s not just a job. It is a part of my life.”
Gary is managing the entire development – from the first bucket in the ground to the first key in the door. On a day to day basis he oversees all Health and safety aspects on site, the build programme and budgets. He adds: “My primary concern is that of safety. We have a ruling on the site that we ensure that everyone goes home safely every day, anything other than this is unacceptable.
“We have many attributes to ensure quality is maintained and work to a strict quality assurance system used by our staff and also our contractors. Thorough, daily checks at each stage ensures this development is constructed to current regulations and we all have a duty and responsibility to do our best and get it right first time.
“This site has many great attributes; a fantastic specification, large open space for many recreations purposes, including the SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space) and a school. It’s a dream to be involved in so many variances.
“Amen Corner will bring both Binfield, Bracknell and Wokingham closer together. It will provide the wider community with sustainable homes that will give purchasers value for money, new cycle paths from Wokingham to Binfield and additional schooling for residents to provide families with the education they strive for, close to where they live.
“Building homes is one of the most difficult jobs you can ever imagine. So many factors have to be taken into consideration, from organising materials to sub-contractor involvement – organisation is key. However, pulling in all your resources to coordinate tasks and to execute them to achieve an outcome is so rewarding. I love the fact you can start with some soil on the ground and yet several weeks later you are making a family a home. I love it!”