About us

Barkley Projects, award-winning developers

Barkley Projects is a Colchester-based development company specialising in residential, retail and commercial property throughout London, East Anglia and the South East of England.

Led by directors Karl O’Brien and Julian Lamb, the company works with highly experienced construction firms and has built up an extensive portfolio of high quality, innovatively-designed properties that are professionally built and finished to a very high standard.

Karl O’Brien

Karl (left) has been in the construction sector for over 35 years and takes great pride in offering excellent customer service, taking time to really understand what a client is looking for and then delivering to plan and on time.

Over the years, he has worked on a wide variety of projects, from single properties to 350-home developments, for the open market and for registered social landlords.

He has also worked on commercial schemes, from small industrial units to 50,000 sq ft warehouses, car showrooms for brands such as Porsche and Mercedes and leisure complexes including swimming pools.

Karl is the Chairman of Colchester Rugby Club where he used to play as a back row forward. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing and golf, and he has a large family with five sons who keep him busy!

Julian Lamb

Julian (right) began his career with construction and shop-fitting specialists WA Hills in the early 1980s and trained as a Quantity Surveyor. During this time, he gained extensive experience of working on a wide range of projects, including the development of Ransomes Europark in Ipswich.

He and Karl sold WA Hills in 2006 to concentrate on the development of the business, working closely with construction teams and being extremely hands on in order to monitor the progress of projects at Barkley.

As well as developing the Blue Barns business complex in Ardleigh, where Barkley Projects is based, the team have undertaken numerous housing projects across East Anglia as well as a number of commercial projects for warehousing, storage, retail and office space.

In his leisure time, Julian enjoys playing golf and is the former captain of Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club. He loves sport and is a former semi-professional football player. He is the Chairman of Premises for the Stanway Federation Academy Trust and for the John Bunyan Primary and Infants School in Braintree. He is also a founder member of the Colchester Ambassadors, a business group set up to promote Colchester.