Chaos means opportunities – 2017 could be a turning point

Greetings to 2017. And a very Happy New Year to all you out there in EG land. Did you want to come back? I certainly struggled. Was it a longer break than usual this year? Or did it just feel that way? In the midst of my Seasonal Affective Disorder (and the fact that I […]

Continue Reading

A riotous end to a tumultuous year

The UKR Christmas party on Monday was a suitably riotous affair. Our entire professional team attended lunch in the private room of Villandry St James, where the kitchen and waiting staff seriously did us proud. As ever. An eclectic mix of folk – planners, surveyors, designers, comms-types, hangers on, liggers and laggers – gathered for […]

Continue Reading

In praise – once again – of our planners

I was invited round to Arup yesterday, to speak at an event for the National Planning Forum (NPF), along with (the rather luminous) James Harris of the Royal Town Planning Institute, (the extremely hilarious) Andrew Whitaker of the Home Builders Federation and (the ever genius) David Waterhouse of Design Council/CABE. No, I have absolutely no […]

Continue Reading

Government funding is just the beginning

Lord Heseltine’s work on a national strategy for regenerating deprived housing estates got published today. And there is to be an additional £32m of new funding released, to bolster the original £140m Estate Regeneration Fund announced last January. I was nose to the grindstone in Communities and Local Government when the thing first got launched […]

Continue Reading

Old gold hits the mainstream

My blog of Thursday was clearly wrong in respect of the election-fatigue being suffered in Richmond Park! My old Mum and her neighbours turned out most diligently (53% is very high for a by-election) to give the government a bloody nose. For Mr Goldsmith’s huge majority in the general election to be overturned so spectacularly […]

Continue Reading

Comfortable voters make for a dreary protest

So the Richmond Park by-election taradiddle gets played out to its dreary denouement today. Will the comfortable voters of Richmond Park register a vote against Brexit or against the third runway at Heathrow? It is all so negative and dispiriting. And it will only ever amount to a protest vote. Neither the airport expansion nor […]

Continue Reading

Inspiration is hard to come by, but it is there

Seriously back in the swim now. Have laid waste to the in-tray. But I must say I find I am struggling to find inspiration. You sure can keep your Black Fridays and your Cyber Mondays. What a crock of nonsense. I think I might go back on holiday. And I can’t even BEGIN to deal […]

Continue Reading

Sorry for the blackout, I’ve been feeling the earth move

I must apologise for my absence. For the past four weeks I have been in New Zealand. It was a holiday-of-a-lifetime sort of thing. I had always wanted to go. And I was in such a workaholic frenzy in the run-up, trying to leave everything neat and tidy in UKR, that I ran out of […]

Continue Reading

Heathrow is the best news for years

I hope you are all impressed with my prescience in raising the important issue of transport connectivity in yesterday’s post. All I can say today is hallelujah, praise the Lord, that we have finally finally FINALLY got the right result with the government announcement of the third runway at Heathrow. Only last night I was […]

Continue Reading

Crewe makes the cut

My life is really quite marvellous. If rather bonkers. Fresh from the announcement that I am about to take up the chair of the Northern Gateway Development Zone (see blog 19 October), it was my extraordinary privilege to chair a session on our stand at MIPIM UK on Thursday morning about the amazing rail connectivity […]

Continue Reading