Andy Delaney: developers will bear the cost of government's regeneration scheme.
Government regeneration falls short
Published: 21 May, 2009
LONDON: Announcement of the Government’s new regeneration framework, Transforming Places, has been welcomed by the property sector. Its £6.5bn commitment, however, is not enough to enable …
struggling developers to adequately deliver its vision of improving public space.
According to national commercial property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), the Government’s publication of its first major report on regeneration in 10 years is a clear sign of the importance of the sector in the UK economy.
LSH director of planning, regeneration and development, Andy Delaney, added that while the Government’s framework will provide opportunity to a sector in the grip of recession, it leaves uncertainty regarding how it will be funded and delivered.
“One of the public sector's roles in property development is to lead the way by championing good design and providing buildings with high environmental standards and excellent sustainability credentials. But, who is going to pay for it?" Mr Delaney asked.
“Public sector spending cuts are coming in 2011 in the form of efficiency drives. The £6.5bn public commitment to regeneration cannot provide for the all the additional costs of excellence in design and sustainability nationwide. It begs the question – is it fair to pass increased costs on to stretched private developers at a time when they are trying to stave off further job losses?”
Despite the financial funding confusion, Mr Delaney applauded the sustainability and design principles set out by the Government within Transforming Places.
“Celebration of public space is to be welcomed. The UK needs to follow the example of European countries and generate non-retail footfall in our town centres and public spaces. The use of health facilities for this purpose is to be welcomed.
“All the best regeneration schemes throughout history have always put good planning, local character and high quality design at the heart of new development. It does all who are involved in regeneration good to be reminded of this.”