Property People

David Clancy, development director at S Harrison in YorkDavid Clancy, development director at S Harrison in York
David Clancy, development director at S Harrison in York
What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire?

The fear of Brexit is starting to loom large and is coming up more frequently in conversations with property people. If the result is to remain the market will pick up where it left off, but I think that no one on either side of the debate actually knows what will happen should the vote be to leave other than a long period of uncertainty – which all businesses hate.

What is the best project you have been involved in?

The regeneration of Workington town centre. Working in partnership with the regional development agency and local authority we transformed a tired 1960s shopping centre into a modern, vibrant destination that serves over 100,000 people and has brought new life to the town. To bring the likes of Debenhams, HMV, River Island, Laura Ashley etc. to a sleepy corner of Cumbria known mostly for its now faded rugby league team is a testament to the whole team.

What is your favourite building in the region and why?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It has to be the new York City Council headquarters, West Offices. We developed this jointly with Buccleuch Estates in the teeth of the recession and have lost count of the awards and accolades that it has received.

If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?

While the National Planning Policy Framework has made the planning process simpler, it would help enormously to cut the red tape still further. The increase in the number of reports needed at the application stage has grown enormously in the 20 years I have been in the development industry. I don’t think they are all required to establish whether the broad principle of development is appropriate for a site.

Developers often get a bad press, but a vibrant development sector is vital to a successful economy. And please can we sort out the rates system that is a downward drag on speculative development in so many ways.

Whom do you most admire in property in Yorkshire?

Those who rent, buy or fund our properties.