Last week, Hogan Lovells hosted the 2015 Strategic Land Debate. Members of the development industry listened to a panel of leading property and planning individuals debate key questions on how the provision of housing can be increased to meet the enormous shortfall faced in the UK.
A thought-provoking keynote introduction from Andrew Jones at AECOM was followed by a lively panel discussion chaired by Nick Ferrari, journalist and LBC broadcaster. On the panel were:
- Andrew Jones – AECOM
- Trudi Elliott CBE – Royal Town Planning Institute
- Robert Evans – Argent LLP
- Marc Vlessing – Pocket Living
- Andrew Telfer – Willmott Dixon Regen
A range of issues relating to the housing crisis were discussed including, not surprisingly, urban extensions, proposals to create entirely new settlements, the role of the Northern Powerhouse in solving the crisis and the continued protection of the Green Belt.
Whilst the audience heard a diverse range of views from the panel, the key message was clear: little progress will be made in solving our housing crisis without meaningful input from a government with a clear commitment to tackling the problem. Until then, developers and other key players can only really skirt around the edges of the problem. Whether this government is willing to take the matter to hand remains to be seen.