Tributes from across the political spectrum, rival firms and former staff have poured in for Berkeley Group founder Tony Pidgley who died, aged 72.

The FTSE 100 housebuilder announced his death late on Friday afternoon provoking a flood of messages.

Among those paying tribute were current housing secretary Robert Jenrick, former chancellor Sajid Javid and former housing minister and current Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis.

Michael Cassidy, Chairman of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s Board, said: “Tony Pidgley was a generous and valued friend of our Ebbsfleet Garden City project over recent years. Oddly, not as one of our near-dozen house builders on the site but as an enthusiastic innovator in branching-out to construct an off-site factory on our Northfleet frontage for pre-fabricated housing units. I remember him saying that one reason he chose our site was that it was within driving distance of his home in Surrey, so he could keep a personal eye on it.

“Tony had in recent years taken on the role that I had a decade before, as President of the London Chamber of Commerce, where he enthusiastically embraced the issues of the day and became a great ambassador for the metropolis.

“He willingly took on a role for Ebbsfleet, as one of the judges for our Landscape Design Competition, giving 2 valuable days to the short-listing and finals.He was meticulous in how he wanted the scoring system to operate. The outcome, centered on our Blue Lake setting, was unanimous.

“A great role-model for aspiring youngsters in his industry, there will be many tributes in coming days but we would like to express our own admiration for a modest, approachable and impressive entrepreneur.”