Appleton has worked in the construction industry for more than 30 years.
Most recently he spent nearly five years at Keltbray Sheet Piling where he was managing director until May.
He also launched and manged his own business from 2006 to 2012.
Van Elle currently undertakes less than £5m of sheet piling works per annum, primarily led by its rail division, but is planning to expand the business.
Appleton’s team will be part of the Specialist Piling division led by Dave Warner.
Warner said: “Andy has extensive experience of delivering demanding sheet piling projects across the country.”
“We have ambitious plans for growth in our core markets and extending our sheet piling offering for our key clients is an important part of our strategy”.