Speaker Spotlight: Douglas Cochrane

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black and white portrait of Doug Cochrane

New Homes Quality Board Deputy Chair speaks to NHBC ahead of Building for Tomorrow 

NHBC sat down with Douglas Cochrane, the latest addition to the New Homes Quality Board, ahead of his keynote speech at the Building for tomorrow conference (23-25 March 2021). 

Douglas Cochrane spent over 40 years at Lloyds Banking Group, ending his tenure as their Head of Housing Development to sit on the New Homes Quality Board. 

Cochrane will be delivering a keynote speech at Building for tomorrow, in which he will explore quality and quantity in the sector and share the latest updates from the New Homes Ombudsman. 

Speaking to NHBC ahead of the conference, Cochrane said “the arrival of COVID-19 and the impact of the initial lockdown…had a huge impact on the market itself”. 

Cochrane explained that mortgage lenders had to respond by reducing some of the flow business, which led to “a reduction in loans to values”. People have also been “looking to move because they require extra space” as they don’t see homeworking coming to an end anytime soon and that’s attracting new people to the market. 

Cochrane also reflected on NHBC’s position in the market, saying he thinks “NHBC plays a vital role and has done for the best part of eight decades”. 

Having worked for a major financier Cochrane recognises in NHBC “an element of responsibility that goes with the scale of the organisation and the size of the market share” and that “there is a very sensible and prudent pace around its ability to change”. 

“Some may criticise that as a lack of agility…but I don’t”, said Cochrane. “I see that as the responsibility which NHBC have to take because of the position in the market” and that “leadership does require responsibility”. 

Joining Cochrane at Building for tomorrow will be other industry heavyweights, such as Stephen Kinsella and Steve Evans. They will be covering five key themes: new homes quality, change and safety; climate change; modern methods of construction, the future housing market and beyond; high rise 

Building for tomorrow will be taking place virtually from 23 to 25 March 2021. The new digital format means attendees will be able to register for as many sessions as they like. 

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