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  • Writer's pictureD.Sheerin

Councils Building Homes Forum

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

1st February saw Caroline Pillay and Peter Airey once again, host our 6th Councils Building Homes (virtual) Forum, which as always proved to be a huge success.

The theme was Leading Estate Regeneration, and we were joined by guest keynote speakers Lord Kerslake, Jackie Sadek and Barbara Brownlee.

Lord Kerslake is Chair of Peabody, Chair of Be First (Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company), Chair of the London Collective Investment Vehicle (London CIV), Chair of Sheffield Theatres, Chair of Sheffield Hallam University, Chair of the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS), Chair of the New Economics Foundation and President of the Local Government Association (LGA). He was recently appointed as new Chair of Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) to help deliver transport and regeneration ambitions for the town.

Together with Jennie Coombs, Head of Affordable Housing at Be First, they delivered a compelling presentation on the subject of delivering estate regeneration, and from that many questions were raised.

"One thing to get right in estate regeneration is the time spent in the early consultation process".

Lord Kerslake is a passionate believer in affordable housing and that councils should be able to develop themselves. He went on to express his excitement by the prospect of councils developing, as the need for affordable housing is so great.

Barbara Brownlee recently took on the role of managing director of Westminster’s wholly owned housing development company, Westminster Builds. The company has an ambitious plan to grow to 1000 homes over the next 5 years.

Between them, Barbara and Caroline have a wealth of common experience and expertise; and discussed their very own experiences leading estate regeneration, and the key principles necessary for successful delivery.

Barbara is a firm believer that the heart and soul of the local authority must be at the heart of regeneration.

"Regeneration is about designing for the next generation"

Jackie Sadek, author (with Peter Bill) of "Broken Homes: Britain's Housing Crisis..." discussed UK regeneration and that councils are indeed custodians of place.

She is the founder and Chief Operating Officer at UK regeneration, and has over 30 years’ experience in property development, managing large-scale urban regeneration projects and public private sector partnerships.

Jackie firmly believes there are opportunities for local authorities now, and that they can make an enormous contribution towards the economic recovery of the country.

"It's the moment to seize the day..."

The Forum moved on to highlight issues and challenges commonly faced by local authorities. Caroline led the discussion on issues affecting the planning and delivery of regeneration projects. Mark Pratten Mark (Airey Miller technical director) talked through the differences between the draft building, and fire safety bills. He answered questions from delegates in respect of their new developments and obligations to make existing buildings safe and compliant.

Peter Airey (Airey Miller MD) led on how local authorities can obtain best prices by risk management and operating greater control over design development. On behalf of Jackie Sadek, Clare Chettle (Airey Miller associate) discussed investigations into how the public and private sector have attempted to boost housing supply.

The Forum was both successful and thought provoking; and the feedback has been incredible.

If you consider your organisation could benefit from the CBH Forum, as many others have, please contact Caroline Pillay directly or join the closed LinkedIn group (HERE), created specifically for local authorities, where there'll be lots of information waiting for you.

#councilsbuildinghomes #affordablehousing #communities

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