Christopher Collins is a chartered surveyor and property developer. After graduating from London University with a degree in Estate Management, Christopher became a partner in the 'Special Cases' department of planning and development consultants Montagu Evans, dealing with such matters as the Covent Garden Market Private Bill in the House of Commons, the first 'Hypermarket' public enquiry in Eastleigh Hampshire, Milton Keynes New Town and other town centre redevelopment Compulsory Purchase issues, many private planning matters (both residential and commercial), strategic mineral planning work, and property valuations for banks. With the senior partner of Montagu Evans and a banking client, he co-founded the Co-partnership Property Group in the 1970s, which carried out many successful commercial and residential projects in the UK, and subsequently became part of Rosehaugh plc, which was transformed from a Tea Company into one of Britain's leading property development companies.
In 1982 he left Rosehaugh to form the Brookglade Property Group, based in Chelmsford. He formed a joint company with Tarmac plc, Tarmac Brookglade, with the specific purpose of persuading the London Docklands Development Corporation that London's Docklands 'Enterprise Zone' was a suitable place for offices, and not just for industrial development, which was the Corporation's thinking at the time. The Heron Quays project was his inspiration, with offices actually standing in water, and from this proof of office viability came the magnificent Canary Wharf project. As part of the Heron Quays submission, Christopher had to persuade the Government that the Docklands Light Railway should be built. His company actually paid for the Heron Quays station.
His development work with Brookglade has also had a beneficial impact on Chelmsford, and he has played a key role in helping the town develop into the vibrant, thriving and attractive place it is today. He is a third generation 'Chelmsfordian', the family having been traders in the town, and he is particularly proud that in the same year as his stepmother won a Civic Award for the Arts, he won a Civic Award for the Built Environment. He has also won awards from the Chelmsford Society and for Energy Efficiency. It was with Brookglade that Christopher first became involved with our University, introducing the site of the old Hoffman Ball Bearing Works to the University for its Chelmsford campus, on the basis that he wished to see Chelmsford with a university at its heart. He has proved both an invaluable adviser and committed supporter of the development of the Chelmsford campus. In 1994 Christopher Collins was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University in recognition of this work, drive and commitment to Chelmsford and the University.
Latterly Christopher has been specializing in developments for the care and well being of the 'over 55's', carrying out projects in Chelmsford and Maldon, and Europe's first large scale Retirement Village in the sun, in the Algarve, Portugal, called Savannahs.
"Chris Collins, who is married with 5 children, was educated at Oundle School and subsequently graduated in Estate Management, London University. He has had a highly successful career in property development. Many of his projects have demonstrated his enthusiasm for innovation, perhaps the most significant of which was the comprehensive development at Herons College in London Docklands which was not only the first office scheme but indeed the first comprehensive development and the first to have buildings standing in water and using the water environment. The project was initially treated with scepticism but its success paved the way for the future nature of Docklands and similar projects in Liverpool, Cardiff and elsewhere.
In the 1970s and early 1980s Chris Collins formed the Co-partnership Property Group with Godfrey Bradman and subsequently worked with him to acquire and transform the public company Rosehaugh from a Tea Company into one of Britain's leading investment and development companies.
In 1982 Chris formed his own company, Brookglade Properties, and his many developments have had a major impact on improving Chelmsford. Indeed, it was his enthusiasm for and commitment to rescuing Chelmsford from the ravages of the 1960s developers, which led to his involvement with the University. Without his involvement it is unlikely that Anglia would now be developing its magnificent new campus in Chelmsford. Since the acquisition of the land, he has worked tirelessly to advise and guide the University in the development.
It is in recognition of this work, drive and commitment to Chelmsford and the University that we offer Christopher John Collins an Honorary Fellowship."