Key People

Chris Goddard Chris Goddard, Chairman
Serial entrepreneur Chris Goddard has a 25 year track record in the property development business.

Chris has run Hackwood Homes for over a decade, building an enviable track record for quality builds in the open market and retirement sectors. Chris’ vision for Renaissance is to build a ‘John Lewis’ culture of providing quality product and service for the retirement market.

Chris became an equal shareholder and chairman at Renaissance Retirement in 2012 when Robert Taylor was looking for a like-minded partner to invest in the company.

Chris has a diverse range of business interests including a wine, mortgage brokerage, estate agency and communications.

Robert Taylor Robert Taylor, Managing Director
Robert founded Renaissance Retirement in 1997 when he saw a gap in the market for high-end retirement developments.

He now oversees the growth of Britain’s fastest growing specialist retirement developer.

A trained architect, Robert cut his teeth in the planning department of Wiltshire County Council. With retirement housebuilding running through his veins, his previous high profile roles include Design Director at McCarthy & Stone.

With an unequalled 100 per cent planning success rate over more than two decades, he puts this down to developing strong working relationships with all key stakeholders, a sympathetic understanding to a site’s surroundings and never giving up!


Nick Watkins Nick Watkins, Development Director
With 20 years’ experience within the retirement housing industry, Nick began his career as an off market site finder for a number of national retirement developers before joining the land department at Churchill Retirement Living in 2000. During seven years with the company Nick rose to the position of Regional Land Director.

In 2008, Nick became Area Director for a new niche retirement developer called Blue Cedar Homes where he successfully ran a small region overseeing the entire development process. Since joining Renaissance Retirement in 2013 as Development Director, Nick has held a range of responsibilities – from sales and marketing to heading up land acquisition and assisting with aspects of the planning process. Nick’s major focus is now prime site acquisition.

Paul Williams Paul Williams, Construction Director
With over 25 years’ experience in the construction industry, Paul has held his current position of Construction Director at Hackwood Group, part of the Renaissance Group of companies, since January 2006.

His current responsibilities include overall responsibility for the planning, management, co-ordination and financial control of the construction project; and keeping track of progress and ensuring that the project is on time and on budget.

Paul sets extremely high standards for his work colleagues on site to ensure that quality standards and all health and safety procedures are adhered to at all times.

Glen Davies Glen Davies, Commercial Director
Glenn joins the board with 25 years' experience in the construction industry working for a number of top-rated national and local developers. Glenn has excelled in project and financial management, gaining huge experience in the sector.

His current responsibilities include overall responsibility for procuring all sub-contracts and materials for Renaissance Retirement projects, and keeping track of the financial management of all the company build expenditure.

Glenn enjoys being involved in the technical side of the business to ensure the business builds using the appropriate method of construction that ensures delivering the best quality and value on all of our developments.

With the huge changes in construction techniques, Glenn is constantly looking for innovations and is committed to ensuring that the company and its customers are benefiting from the best solutions and products in the industry.


Chris Wotton Chris Wotton, Marketing Director
Chris has over 15 years’ experience working in marketing with a number of SME and UK Top 5 volume housebuilders.

An ex-construction journalist, Chris has married his experience in sales, journalism and marketing to maximum effect during his career.

Previously a board director with a top 100 PR and marketing agency, Chris has PR close to his heart.

Chris joined the board as Marketing Director in 2014 during this period of rapid expansion for the company.

Marcus Cover Marcus Cover, Director and Head of Legal Services
Marcus had more than 30 years qualified experience as a property solicitor in private practice before joining the Renaissance board in March 2013 and assuming responsibility for all property transactions and other legal matters within the company.

He is a graduate of Cambridge University and, when not working, devotes much of his time to trying in vain to improve his golf handicap.

Chris Sommerfelt Chris Sommerfelt, Director of Legal Services
After a career flying helicopters in the Royal Navy, Chris qualified as a solicitor in 1980 and subsequently specialised in property law. He worked in private practice in Bournemouth before joining McCarthy & Stone in 1987. Since then Chris has held a number of senior positions in the Plc. including Group Land Director and finally as Senior Legal Counsel. He joined Renaissance in September 2016 as Director of Legal Services.


Paddy Wanless Paddy Wanless, Operations & IT Director
Paddy has over 20 years’ experience in the Information Technology sector including working for US Blue Chip Procter & Gamble and running his own successful IT company, before joining the Renaissance board at the start of 2016.

Paddy’s responsibilities include facilitating the IT systems at Renaissance as well as evaluating and improving how the business operates and performs to ensure effective planning and overall efficiency.


Rob Franklin Rob Franklin, Senior Architectural Technician / Technical Director Designate
From school Rob trained as a designer with Rollalong who provided accommodation to the MoD and The Department of Education.

In 2004 he joined McCarthy & Stone and was head hunted by Churchill Retirement Living, where he spent seven years as an architectural technician being part of the company’s significant expansion. Rob joined Renaissance in 2016 and is delighted to be part of its exciting expansion.


Peter Tanner Peter Tanner, Planning Director
Formerly Managing Director of renowned Dorset-based town planning consultants Tanner & Tilley, Peter’s knowledge and experience in both housing for the elderly and general planning issues spans more than 30 years and two continents. He is a Chartered Town Planner and a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Peter brings a level of knowledge and expertise to Renaissance Retirement which would be difficult to match. He has experience across both district and borough councils in London and across the UK, six years' experience as a senior planning officer with Johannesburg City Council, and he spent time as National Planning Advisor to McCarthy & Stone. More recently he has advised many national retirement and care companies on planning matters.


Simon McFarlane Simon McFarlane, Associate Director of Planning
Simon’s knowledge and experience in both housing for the elderly and general planning issues spans more than 10 years, starting with Bournemouth Borough Council and latterly with Churchill Retirement Living where he held the position of Senior Planning Manager. He is a Chartered Town Planner and a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Simon McFarlane joins Renaissance – Britain’s fastest growing specialist retirement developer – as Associate Director of Planning.


Matt Smith Matt Smith, Sales Director Designate
Matt spent his former years working in estate agency where he learnt the property industry top to bottom.

Customer service and sales delivery has always been paramount to his work ethos and Matt has overseen many successful offices.

In 2012, Matt entered the retirement industry, initially working within the re-sale department at McCarthy & Stone. Promotions led him to head up his own team selling brand new apartments. He joined Renaissance Retirement in 2015 as Sales Manager heading up the sales division and growing a successful team of consultants, and now holds the role of Sales Director Designate.