Thornton assists housebuilders and retirement village developers with securing sites and their subsequent acquisition whether by option agreement, conditional contract, or straightforward unconditional purchase.

Thornton works with promoters and landowners in respect of strategic land matters generally. He also has considerable experience of dealing with collaboration and consortium agreements on large-scale residential developments.

Additionally, Thornton’s work includes dealing with disposals of serviced sites and/ or phases of development.

Thornton has a particular interest in the provision and funding of infrastructure having previously sat on the investment panel of the South West Regional Infrastructure Fund.

How do you help clients? 

I facilitate transactions and make sure deals happen. I will always go the extra mile to achieve a client’s objectives as quickly and painlessly as possible.

I particularly enjoy the more complex matters, where overcoming difficult issues in a pragmatic and concise way can make a real difference to the success or otherwise of a project.

With over 25 years’ experience (several of which were spent managing a team of 35 site set up and plot sales specialists acting for a national housebuilder), I can identify and solve issues at the site acquisition stage that could go on to cause plot sales delay or difficulty.

I find it immensely satisfying to help clients overcome the legal issues that they face, allowing them to provide homes and address the issues arising from the historic undersupply of housing.


  1. Assisting a regeneration specialist on the acquisition of a large development site in Manchester in a way that extinguished prohibitive restrictive covenants which affected a considerable part of the site.
  2. Advising Mears New Homes Limited on the acquisition of a 10-year supply of residential development sites including advising on all post-completion matters and supervising the plot sales on the first sites in their development pipeline.
  3. Advising a regeneration specialist on the disposal of serviced development phases to national housebuilders.
  4. Advising a retirement village developer in respect of its entire nationwide property portfolio including the expansion of a number of existing retirement communities.
  5. Working with a landowner client to formulate a strategy to maximise receipts from the sale of its extensive landholdings adjacent to a motorway junction.