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The main message that I took away was that the prospects for estate renewal in London are probably the strongest they’ve been for many years, and certainly since the heyday of the early 1990s.
The key messages were:
• Councils want to benefit more fully from the financial housing for sale elements of these schemes, with joint ventures with housebuilders being seen as the best way of achieving this;
• The scope to accelerate delivery was felt to be limited, for example, as the pre-planning, planning and delivery stages are all more complicated than on vacant sites. Thereby measures such as Help to Buy and, potentially, PRS will help.
• The pressure to achieve financial viability and then delivery quickly must not be allowed to compromise in any way the over-riding importance of ensuring that the existing communities that we are endeavouring to transform really do benefit and become much more sustainable, both socially and economically.
In summary, we are very excited by the prospects of estate renewal, or as we prefer to call it, estate transformation, and we are determined to ensure we continue to rise to the challenges and provide the best possible service to our Council, housing association and other partners.
Michael Hill, New Business Director
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