Regeneration

02 / 02 / 2022

After two and a half years of planning, the Government has finally announced its long-awaited plans to level up the country. Here’s what Lovell Regeneration and Partnerships Director Mary Parsons has to say about the White Paper unveiled today:

“As a national regeneration and partnerships developer, Lovell welcomes the publication of the much-anticipated Levelling Up White Paper. We understand that this goes far beyond the delivery of new homes but does offer a clear recognition of the significant role that housing can, and should, play in addressing economic, social and health inequalities alongside investment into local transport, infrastructure, education and skills. 

“It is good to see the emphasis on local accountability and decision making at the heart of this agenda and from our own experience this can act as a catalyst for ambitious and sustainable regeneration. Previous ‘top down’ approaches have often resulted in some places and communities being left even further behind.  We need to understand that ‘levelling up’ isn’t just needed between regions; but is also tackling the deep-rooted inequalities that exist within our towns and cities across the country. By taking a locally led approach and keeping communities at the heart of the process we can make a huge difference.

Aerial photo of the former Caparo site now Lockside

“One of our most successful recent partnerships has been with the West Midlands Combined Authority where funding for brownfield developments has already seen us progress over 800 homes under construction or in planning: part of our target of 4,000 homes. We have pooled our resources and expertise to bring forward stalled former industrial sites in priority economic areas and, by working with our Housing Association partners, have also enabled higher levels of affordable new homes to be delivered within vibrant, mixed communities. We welcome the investment commitment for Wolverhampton to underpin its continued growth and revitalisation and are testimony to the success.

“Brownfield regeneration is by its nature complex, costly and risky and if the public sector wants to see less pressure on greenfield sites to achieve its housing targets, this Government commitment and resources needs to be in place quickly. We know that we face further challenges ahead in planning a zero-carbon future and need to make sure that the proposals within the White Paper can help create truly sustainable development and use investment into new construction and green technologies as a key part of our economic strategy.

“From our work in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester Combined Authority areas we have seen the benefits and opportunities that investment into quality transport infrastructure can bring both to local economies and supporting housing growth and we welcome the commitment for more devolved transport planning across the regions.

“Above all we welcome the word “regeneration” being back at the heart of the Government’s agenda and the expansion of the remit and resources of Homes England to support and enable.  For Lovell “regeneration” means not only improving the physical built environment of our towns and cities, but connecting the people that live there to new economic opportunities by delivering the right types and tenures of homes in the right places and creating, together, places that people will be proud to live and work in.”

 

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Mary Parsons, Regeneration and Partnerships Director