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The event was attended by an audience of housing specialists, with speakers including Communities Secretary, the Right Honourable Eric Pickles MP. Mr Pickles discussed topics including Barking Riverside, Ebbsfleet Garden Village and Help to Buy, stating: “It’s ludicrous to suggest that Help To Buy is creating a housing bubble. The numbers are so small when compared with total housing transactions and prove it is not having that effect.”
Following the debate, the award presentation was made by Graham and Richard Cherry, Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman respectively of Countryside and their mother, Fay Cherry, together with Countryside’s Executive Chairman, Ian Sutcliffe.
This year’s winner Jonathan Speed, who has concluded his three-year secondment at Barking Riverside from the Greater London Authority has been a driving force at the largest single housing development opportunity in London since the early 1990s. Jonathan comments: “I am honoured to have received this award and delighted that Barking Riverside has been recognised as an exceptional development for placemaking. The vision for Barking Riverside is of a vibrant community that will transform one of the largest brownfield sites in the UK with new, mixed-tenure homes. A high quality urban environment is being created alongside a full range of amenities, all supported by new public transport links.”
Richard Cherry said: “The first thing we look for when deciding on the winner of the Alan Cherry Award is someone who recognises the true spirit of a place and how to best shape its future. Jonathan has had a very significant role in the placemaking of Barking Riverside and has been very influential in making the area a better place to live. He led Barking Riverside from being a scheme stalled due to a multitude of problems to one of the best planned and designed schemes. The development has the community and place making at its heart with the social infrastructure being developed alongside the homes.”
The Alan Cherry Award for Placemaking is awarded to a public figure who has made a significant contribution to placemaking in their communities. The judging panel for this year’s award comprised Professor Christine Whitehead of London School of Economics, David Lunts of the GLA, Pat Hayes of the London Borough of Ealing, Brendan Sarsfield of Family Mosaic, Andrew Brentnall of Savills and Richard Cherry of Countryside.
As founder of Countryside, Alan Cherry led his company to create developments with significant character and sense of place. The company has become one of the UK’s leading and most respected housing and property development companies, which specialises in the creation of sustainable homes, communities and regeneration.
Alan Cherry’s vision was always to create places for people where they could enjoy a high quality of life and was realised at projects such as Greenwich Millennium Village in London, Great Notley Garden Village in Braintree and St Mary’s Island in Chatham, where his legacy is there for all to see.
He was passionate in his belief in good design, placemaking and environmental quality. He spent many hours explaining his vision to politicians and influencers to help them shape policy. Alan pioneered the integration of affordable homes within a sustainable community and believed that affordable homes should not be recognisable by their built form or appearance. Countryside is continuing Alan’s vision and is building upon his legacy.
Information correct at time of publication