What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?
Ultimately, the availability of finance remains the biggest constraint to development projects actually getting off the ground. The government seem committed to try to unlock such obstacles though this will take some time to come through.
What is the best project you have been involved in?
One of the highlights has been the re-development of the former Harworth Colliery, south of Doncaster, for a mixed use development of new shopping facilities, 1,000 new homes and one million sq ft of employment space.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
The Winter Gardens and Town Hall Gardens area of Sheffield which in my view have set the benchmark for city centre enhancements.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?
Breaking down the adversarial approach that exists for most new development in the region. In much of Europe, the social and economic benefits of development are embraced but in UK there is a climate of distrust and cynicism between the development industry and local communities.
Whom do you most admire in the property industry?
Peter Spawforth who founded Spawforths but who has now retired. He had the vision in the 1980s to facilitate the first indoor shopping centre in Europe – the Ridings in Wakefield.