What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire?
Very exciting. Leeds, Sheffield and York continue to attract investment in the retail and commercial sectors and as the market continues to pick up I expect to see more large scale developments as well as an increase in much needed residential development.
What is the best project you’ve been involved in?
I’m a litigator so spend my time trying to resolve matters without the need to go to court, or indeed at court arguing my client’s case.
The most satisfying outcome is always achieving what is best for the client, in the quickest and most cost effective way possible.
What is your favourite building in the region?
York Minster. Its sheer scale and majesty bowl me over, and it was all built before mechanical building equipment.
In terms of more recent buildings, Quarry House on Quarry Hill in Leeds due to its imposing but somehow soft nature.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?
I’m afraid it’s the same answer as given by so many people appearing in this column over the last few years; the banks need to lend.
Although things are certainly getting better the mid-size developer is still very much struggling to obtain finance and the smaller commercial landlords are heavily hit by tenants going bust, often due to cash flow.
Who has inspired you?
Joseph Rowntree. His vision and passion for using property and open spaces to create and enhance quality of life has in part contributed to York being such a great place to live, even though he passed away almost 90 years ago.
The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust continues to embody his ideals and do great work in the social housing and community sectors.