The Exeter Assistant Site Manager Who Lives On Site!
13 Jan 2023

The Exeter Assistant Site Manager Who Lives On Site!

Assistant site manager James MacMartin is such a passionate advocate for the new development he is building that he lives on site with his partner…

First time buyers, James (29) and Mollie (26) live at Linden Homes’ Tithe Barn development in Exeter with their mini goldendoodle Cooper. 

The couple previously rented a one bedroom apartment in Wokingham in Berkshire, but it cost £1,200 a month and they didn’t have enough space. James’ family is from Exeter and Mollie – who works in technical recruitment – has family in Scotland. They decided to stay in the south and buy their first home together in Devon, choosing the four bedroom Aslin at Tithe Barn, where James works.

He commented: “When we were looking, Mollie absolutely fell in love with the layout and it was exciting to choose the kitchen and make it ours. Our home is set over three floors, so it feels really spacious; there’s a lovely terrace; and it’s in a good location, close to Exeter city centre. We wanted a house that would suit us now as well as in the future and we’re already filling it up! We’ve created a great media wall in the lounge and we’ve enjoyed entertaining in the garden.”

In their spare time, James plays football for Clyst Valley AFC and they like paddleboarding and taking Cooper on long walks.

He continued: “We’ve been in our home for just over a year now and I love that it’s been built by the team. I know living where you work isn’t for everyone, but I’m incredibly proud of the homes we’re building and couldn’t be happier. I knew the build quality would be excellent – as I work on site and see the high level of craftsmanship and care that goes into producing each home – but I’ve been amazed how much it benefits us on a daily basis. Not only does it look great, but we’ve saved loads on our energy bills as it’s so efficient. 

“Plus, the whole development has a nice community-feel, the neighbours are sound and I have the shortest commute to work!  Seeing things from a customer’s point of view has been interesting, it’s given me a real understanding of the whole customer journey and that incredible feeling when you’re handed the keys!”

James joined the company in September 2021 as a trainee and was swiftly promoted after seven months, which he puts down to the transferable skills gained from his Armed Forces background. James was previously in the Coldstream Guards, the oldest continuously serving regiment in the Army, based in Windsor. He formed part of the recce platoon, which focuses on reconnaissance and embarked on a tour in Afghanistan, as well as overseas exercises in Belize, Germany, Romania, Kenya, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands.

He said: “I was in the Army for 12 years and it gives you such a great grounding. It ensures you’re organised, punctual, have an eye for detail and you plan ahead – all key attributes needed in the housebuilding industry.

“It was a fantastic career but they were changing the pension scheme and I became very aware of my future. I also knew I needed to establish myself in a second career before I was 30 years old and prior to starting a family. I do miss my days in the Army. I joined when I was 16 and the camaraderie was brilliant but I can still visit my old comrades – all dotted around the country!

“It is daunting to consider a career change if you’ve only ever known one job. Fortunately, I soon found my path and was offered a position after undertaking work experience with Vistry Group, which builds Linden and Bovis properties.

“I am now studying for a HNC in construction management as part of my job and in terms of career aspirations, I just want to keep progressing and see where it takes me. I love learning and how every day is different – there are so many opportunities in the housebuilding industry. 

“My site manager Marcus is a brilliant boss and is really generous with his time. He empowers the whole team and it’s a great atmosphere out on site – it reminds me of the camaraderie in the Army.”

James conceded a career in construction wasn’t a complete surprise: “Housebuilding is definitely in the blood! My family all work for housebuilders: my dad is a technical director, my mum and brother work in customer services, and my other brother is a trainee assistant site manager!”

For further details on the homes available at Tithe Barn or careers visit Linden Homes.


Contact: Emma Mackay, 077383 12960, 

References to “we”, “us” or “our” are to the part of the Vistry Group (including Linden Homes, Bovis Homes, Countryside Homes, Drew Smith or one of Vistry’s joint venture companies) from which you are intending to purchase a new home. References to "you” and “your” are to the prospective buyer or buyers of a new home from us.

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