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Now a firm fixture in the annual property events calendar, this year’s Alan Cherry Debate at the RICS in London, discussed what must surely be hottest topic in property sector; “We need more homes - who will deliver them, when and where?”

We need more homes – who will deliver? The Alan Cherry Debate and Award for Placemaking 2015 - by Richard Cherry

The debate is held to honour the late founder of Countryside, Alan Cherry CBE DL, who was passionate about placemaking, good design and environmental quality.  Spported by the Mayor of London and chaired by Jonathan Prynn, Consumer Affairs Editor at the Evening Standard, speakers included a host of housing luminaries, including Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor in charge of Housing, Land & Property at the GLA, Louise Brooke-Smith, Former President of RICS and Sir Bob Kerslake, Chairman of Peabody who is also chairing the London Housing Commission.

With a wide range of insightful and highly relevant opinions shared by the panel and audience members key issues raised during the debate included; ‘Do we have a housing problem?’ to which Sir Bob Kerslake replied ‘Yes, we do have a problem, a national problem, albeit in London particularly we are only developing half the new homes required.  How can we resolver this?  Housing being seen as a key infrastructure so we have consensus and plan for the long-term, devolution deals with the GLA and local authorities and creating larger local planning teams, speeding up the compulsory planning process and more deals on public land will help, including a duty to co-operate on statutory bodies.’

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking & Dagenham Council said ‘Housing solutions need to be led by the local community.  We need to be responsible for the next generation and generations to come, not just the now.  Together I hope that we can answer London’s call to help the next generation.’

Also on the agenda ‘How far are Housing Association’s /Government/Developers/Local Authorities thinking about housing delivery? Should it be 50 years?’, ‘Is planning the barrier to housebuilding?’, ‘Can we continue to have a thriving economy with London as the centre?  Should we be looking at other areas of the country by investing the time, money, infrastructure?’, ‘How do we grow supply in the mid-market?’.

It was noted that the Government is making efforts to increase home ownership; the Housing and Planning Bill making its way through Parliament promises to speed up the planning system which will help bring forward more homes but several speakers remarked that we have lacked political leadership for housing for many years.

This year’s debate wrapped up with the presentation of the Alan Cherry Award for Placemaking, which I presented with Fay Cherry to Victoria Hills, CEO of Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), for her role in putting masterplanning and placemaking at the heart of one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects at Old Oak.

Speaking at the ceremony, Victoria Hills, said “It is an honour to receive such a special award, a wonderful milestone in our 30-40 year project and one which we really will look back on with pride.”

We look forward to the next debate and award in 2016.


Image at top of l to r- Lord Kerslake, Fay Cherry, Victoria Hills, Kate Davies of Notting Hill Housing Trust, Jonathan Prynn, Ian Sutcliffe of Countryside, Cllr Darren Rodwell, Louise Brooke-Smith, Richard Blakeway and myself.  

Richard Cherry,
Chief Executive,

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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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