A high-profile housing developer praised Havering Council's approach to regeneration during a busy launch of the first issue of Havering magazine, which focuses on the borough's ongoing regeneration projects.
The event took place on 16 January at commercial property agent GVA's headquarters in Bank and was attended by 112 guests, including council members, developers and consultants involved in developing the east London borough.
Tony Pidgley, chairman of Berkeley Group, praised the council's collaboration with the private sector: "The real challenge for any local authority is to create a shared vision and work together in the spirit of partnership and that’s what Havering has done.
"Having read all the information, having been well briefed on it, I think they’ve done a superb job; that’s what makes this borough thrive."
Pidgley revealed the key to success when working with local authorities: "From my experience, it's not the funding or the planning; fundamentally it's about the right sort of partnership, getting on with the local authority, the community and the developer being on the same page and finding an alignment of interest."
Havering Council's leader Roger Ramsey revealed that the council is close to choosing a preferred development partner in the regeneration of 12 housing estates: "For the first time, last year we were represented at MIPIM (the international property and development exhibition), putting up our 12 estates programme which was fantastically received by the industry, and to which we have had a huge response.
"Tomorrow evening we will meet for a cabinet meeting where members will select the preferred bidder to take forward that 12-estate regeneration with us; we believe that possibly, it's the largest social housing scheme currently going on in London."
Other keynote speakers at the event were the Greater London Authority's deputy mayor of housing, James Murray, and Havering Council's chief executive, Andrew Blake-Herbert.
Murray highlighted his impressions of Havering from a town centre walkabout that he took part in with senior members of the council during the summer: "The focus of London is shifting east, and it does involve places like Havering as huge areas of opportunity.
"Walking around Romford town centre has really underscored the fact that there are masses of opportunities there that people should be getting involved with."
Blake-Herbert set out Havering's approach to regeneration: "Just under a year ago, we launched our new vision for the borough, titled, 'Havering: Making a Greater London'.
“What it encompasses is building on the fantastic opportunities that Havering has to offer, both to benefit Havering, but also the wider London region.”
He highlighted the council's main considerations for its regeneration plans: "There are four key principles within that vision; communities, places, opportunities and connections; we don’t see regeneration as just building new homes for people – we see it about building communities."
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