The high street’s future is a constant concern

Sigh.  The recent news regarding British Homes Stores and Austin Reed has sure got us all going again.  I may be a bit bored and jaundiced with it all, but there is no question that one debate in urban regeneration that will never ever go away is that of the future of the UK’s high […]

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A new motor for housing construction?

Forgive my absence. I was away last week, rummaging around the Community Land Trust agenda, mainly on the west coast of Scotland. Blimey, it’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. A proper blast of exposure to some of the most beautiful scenery on this earth? Well, that never did anyone any harm. And the food was simply […]

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A fine and moving tribute to Sir Simon

As you can see from this photo of moi with The Pidge and the esteemed sculptor, Philip Jackson, I attended the unveiling of the statue of Sir Simon Milton at One Tower Bridge yesterday (see blog also 23 April 2010 and 15 April 2011). And I am so very glad I did!   You will see […]

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Gateway to opportunity – so get in early

The second leg of Brandon Lewis’s exhausting MIPIM whirl last Thursday (see Tuesday’s blog) was to launch the prospectus of the Northern Gateway Development Zone opportunities to investors and developers. The Northern Gateway is an extraordinary partnership to promote the investment potential arising from HS2 infrastructure throughout Cheshire and Warrington, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, on the […]

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The tyranny of Microsoft, the joys of MIPIM

Apologies for my radio silence for this past couple of weeks. This was due partly to the amount of work necessary in the run-up to MIPIM (followed by MIPIM itself of course) but mostly due to the fact that Microsoft saw fit to visit Windows 10 upon my home computer from which I write my […]

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A sure sign of regeneration in E17

It was very good to see that the neon 1950s lights on the Art Deco gateway to the old Walthamstow greyhound stadium site have been switched on for the first time in eight years. This is a rather compelling story about local sign maker Andy Cook who was commissioned to restore this iconic (apologies for […]

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Lord Heseltine’s people power proposition

The first meeting of the newly formed Estates Regeneration Advisory Panel was convened last week, on a blustery February morning, in the community hall of the Winstanley estate in Wandsworth, SW11, under the authoritative eye of its chairman, “The Daddy”, Lord Heseltine. You may have picked up that he had made a speech in Leeds […]

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Colchester comes of age

I had a terrific day out in Colchester at the end of last week, courtesy of Hugo Fenwick (what a seriously beautiful new store he is creating out of the old Williams and Griffin department store; a fantastic investment into the future of Colchester) and various stalwart colleagues from Colchester Borough Council, as well representatives […]

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Building a proper construction industry

I have written before (blog 15 June 2015) of my great admiration for the work of Mark Farmer in trying to focus the minds of the property industry on our most looming time bomb: that of the severe lack of capacity in the construction industry. The problem is simply massive. And getting bigger by the […]

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Government lands a whopper

The question I get most often from the industry while doing this extraordinary job of mine in the Secretary of State’s Extended Ministerial Office (and I get asked it almost daily) is why isn’t the government releasing more land? There is a general perception that HMG is hanging on to all its land holdings for […]

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