Supporting the home building industry to create more high quality homes

We upskill established and aspiring developers, SMEs and UK housebuilders by providing insider knowledge and strategies for finding, de-risking, and optimising development opportunities.

Success or failure hinges on your skills and knowledge

More developers give up or go bust these days than manage to thrive long-term and achieve the success they aspire to.

That’s the harsh reality of the industry. It’s a far cry from the housing markets of the late 70’s and 80s when more than 12,500 SME developers and smaller housebuilders existed. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) count of just over 3,000 or so today is a stark reminder of the challenging and complex landscape we now work within.

At Millbank we believe survival – and success - is dependent on becoming a knowledgeable, skilled and accomplished development professional. That means learning from those with a solid track record who have been where you are and got to where you want to be.

Given the rewards at stake, the capital at risk and the serious consequences of making a wrong move, your development business and the important task of delivering much-needed housing is too important to risk falling victim to inexperience. Similarly, missing vital pieces of the development puzzle that cost you opportunities, time, and money.

Missing vital pieces of the development puzzle will cost you opportunities, time, and money.


Your training in safe hands


Even if you’re good at building things, you’ll know that the biggest challenges facing housebuilders, developers, site finders and promotors remain the cost and availability of viable land and dealing with the complexities of the planning process. Of course you also need to know how to get all of your numbers right!

At its simplest, everything starts with land. I eventually worked this out for myself in 1988 when I progressed from doing smaller refurb deals to securing land opportunities and building my first new-build house. I’ve spent the rest of my career learning exactly how to secure the best deals, maximise land value and win the best planning permissions. I set up Millbank Land Academy to share what I’ve learnt and help you identify, negotiate, and secure genuine off-market land opportunities, design optimum schemes that add maximum value and win the best planning permissions first time, every time.


Paul Higgs MRICS
Founder and CEO Millbank Group


Paul Higgs - our lead trainer

Few people can match Paul’s breadth and depth of industry experience. Those that can are busy steering the big UK housebuilders or running their own companies, using what they know rather than teaching it, and keeping their insider secrets to themselves.

Paul established Millbank Land Academy to lift the lid on insider knowledge to help improve the skills of the industry workforce - as well as support and encourage new entrants - to get deals done the right way.



  • Paul did his first small-scale refurb in 1984, gradually progressing to larger refurbs, splitting houses into flats and building his first new-build house in 1988.
  • Started off as a Trainee Site Engineer, studied Construction Management and became a Site Manager by the time he was 21.
  • Studied Land Economics to get a proper grounding in land, planning and property development.
  • Qualified as a Chartered Planning & Development Surveyor and honed his skills for the next 10 years in senior positions at Laing Homes and Barratt Developments plc
  • Started his own award-winning development company, Millbank Group, in 2002.
  • Lectured on Advanced Development Valuations on the MSc Property Development at London Southbank University
  • Became a Founding Investor and Board Director of the industry-leading PropTech Co, LandInsight (now LandTech)

Our training philosophy

Sustainable profitable property development and placemaking is about identifying, creating and adding value through a combination of…

Imaginative thinking
Creative site finding and deal structuring
Clever design and scheme optimisation
Understanding the planning system, inside-out
Knowing how to get things built the right way

… and of course, a genuine desire to improve the environment, deliver quality, and provide much-needed housing that benefits the community and every stakeholder.

Get support where you need it most

We believe that, whether you’re experienced or just getting started in property development, there are two distinct, but closely related skill sets that you need to master to differentiate yourself from everyone else in the market.

Land Sourcing

The first critical skill-set you need is knowing exactly how the land market works and what to look for to identify real off-market opportunities, either for your own projects or on behalf of others if you’re working as a site finder, land buyer or land agent. Then, exactly how to initiate and progress the deal. Armed with this knowledge, you can find the very best opportunities that have little to no competition, thereby putting yourself in the strongest negotiating position to secure the deal or make lucrative introductions.

Adding Maximum Planning Value

The second, more complex skill set is knowing exactly how to assess all risks and constraints, then create the optimum design to maximise the value (and your profit) from any opportunity. Of course, this also means knowing how to steer that scheme through the planning system to realise that value as quickly and easily as possible.

And, if you choose to (or if you have to) pursue opportunities that are on or ‘in’ the market (not what we advise!), then these skills are even more important.

But we know that as well as skills, you need connections that support your business, so as well as advancing the skills of you or your team, we aim to upgrade your development peer group by providing networking opportunities that bring together like-minded development professionals to help you build a trusted network of contacts who can both inspire and support.

Part of the award-winning Millbank Group

Millbank Land Academy is the training arm of the award-winning Millbank Group, disrupting the industry with a pioneering approach to land, planning and development since 2002 and helping people, businesses and communities to grow.


Elevate your land, planning and development skills in three easy steps

Select Choose the course to suit your needs
Train Learn at your own pace with concise training modules delivering a wealth of detailed knowledge from industry insiders
Accelerate Fast track your development success with expert guidance to minimise risk and maximise the upside from every opportunity