A panel of leading figures in the UK’s regeneration field says the UK still faces significant challenges ahead as it seeks to regenerate some of its deprived areas.
Figures including Lend Lease chairman Nigel Hugill and joint managing director of Development Securities Julian Barwick said regeneration projects have to be approached with patience, a long-term view, and a clear idea of what the end aim of the project is if they are to be successful.
Hugill, who at Lend Lease is heading a number of projects from Stratford City to Greenwich Peninsula, said the regeneration ambitions of the government and the property sector could be clearly seen at its scheme at Elephant & Castle where it plans a 30 acre retail and residential-led redevelopment. ‘Only in the UK could we have the confidence to dismantle an entire estate built just over 30 years ago and so close to the city and just admit that we made a monumental mistake and will do it better the net time,’ he said.
Development Securities’ Julian Barwick said three important rules to follow when carrying out regeneration programmes are to prevent aiming for the unachievable, take small schemes and ‘be absolutely clear about the places you are creating’.
‘At Paddington Central we are eight years on and we are only half way through. Regeneration is for the patient but it is usually a patience that is rewarded,’ he said.
Manchester City Council’s deputy chief executive Eamonn Boylan said antoher key area was to continue to improve and adapt successful regeneration projects. He said that although Manchester was seen as a 'success story’ there was still a great need to connect the growth and investment in the region with the needs of the people.
‘We can’t just assume there will be a trickle down effect in Manchester we have to continue to work alongside our development partners,’ said Boylan. ‘Going forward a key issue for Manchester is to create an integrated transport system to support sustainable growth in the city.’
Neigbouring metropolitan borough Wirrall spoke of its plans to build a ‘Manhattan on the Mersey’ at its 500 acre waterfront site.
The event was hosted by CB Richard Ellis’ head of regeneration Jackie Sadek in conjunction with law firm Davies Arnold Cooper.