What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber?
As development levels tailed off in the downturn, planning activity was still bubbling away in the background, and this is now starting to be converted into bricks and mortar. A significant amount of development is now required across the region for authorities to meet local plan development targets and Quod is experiencing more and more new planning enquiries across all sectors.
What is the best project you are involved in?
Quod is currently advising on the future redevelopment of the former Yorkshire Post headquarters in Leeds, which represents a really exciting opportunity to revitalise this key gateway site into the city.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
Salts Mill, the largest industrial building in the world when it was built, is synonymous both with the role the region played during the industrial revolution but also for setting a benchmark for improving workers’ conditions. Now an excellent art gallery, and part of a UNESCO world heritage site, it’s a great example of how former industrial buildings can be brought back to life.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region what would it be?
More support for local planning authorities, who are under huge pressure to prepare watertight local plans and determine applications within their deadlines, but in the face of significant cuts in funding. The development industry needs a well-resourced and responsive planning system in order to avoid unnecessary uncertainty and delays for delivery.
Who has inspired you?
My geography teacher at school. Anyone who can convince a 16 year old boy that planning is an exciting career prospect must be fairly inspirational.