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In these unprecedented times, when our usual opportunities to network and exchange ideas are limited, it is important to keep the conversations going that debate the key issues and share the knowledge that drive success. To respond to this challenge BECG has launched the BECGconversation podcast series to bring together experts from across the built environment sectors to discuss the issues of the day and share core lessons learned as we focus on the recovery to come.
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BECGconversation episode 18: The Car Ownership Debate in London
With environmental issues featuring increasingly on the political agenda, we looked to see how local government can react to the challenge, particularly focusing on travel and car ownership. We explored questions such as: How can local government help to reduce vehicle emissions? How can we do so while understanding residents’ feelings about their cars? Do we have to prepare residents for having to change how they live their lives? How can the planning system help to do this? Are interventions like ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) and LTNs (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods) required to do this? If so, how are they best implemented? The panel comprised of: Cllr Claire Holland, Leader of Lambeth Council Cllr Peter Golds, Leader of the Opposition at Tower Hamlets Neil Lawrence, Planning Director at Avison Young Victoria Porter, i-Transport
February 11, 2022
BECGconversation episode 17: Garden Communities and creating places that work
The podcast discussed the ongoing importance of garden communities in meeting Britain’s housing need, and what must be done to bring them to fruition, bringing together those at the forefront of driving new garden communities forward. The expert panellists included councillors and professionals who have first-hand experience of navigating the planning and political issues which surround new the design and delivery of new garden communities. They discussed sustainable infrastructure needed to connect new garden towns and villages, the importance of good design, and the community benefits needed to bring residents on-side with the plans. Speakers: Councillor Duncan Enright, Interim Chair of Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board Councillor Seán D T Woodward, Executive Leader at Fareham Borough Council Paul Lemar, Head of Strategic Land at Clarion Group Daniel Fryd, Associate Director at BECG (Chair)
October 21, 2021
BECGconversation episode 16: Future Growth in Kent
With Kent having felt the effects of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic more strongly than any other region, now is a critical time for the county’s growth. Known as the Garden of England, Kent is more than just its leafy villages – it is a region with an ambitious growth agenda and a key role in driving growth in the Thames Gateway region. Our expert panel explored how to overcome the challenges and harness the opportunities around delivering the growth needed in the garden of England. Speakers included: Kate Willard OBE – Thames Estuary Envoy Cllr Derek Murphy – Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Kent County Council Cllr Gerry Clarkson – Leader, Ashford Borough Council Gordon Pratt – Managing Director, KenEx Tramlink
September 01, 2021
BECGconversation episode 15: Neurodiversity in Planning Engagement Toolkit – Making Planning as Accessible as Possible
BECG led a working group of planning professionals to deliver the Neurodiversity in Planning – Engagement Toolkit, launched in Spring 2021. The Toolkit provides seven principles to guide how to make planning consultation accessible to a neurodiverse audience, recognising that we are all affected by the built environment and we should thus all have a stake in how it is managed and developed. The working group sought input from an array of neurodivergent voices and neurodiversity experts in producing the Toolkit. Neurodiversity is the concept that all humans vary in terms of neurocognition, encompassing conditions such as autism, dyslexia and ADHD, as well as certain acquired types of neurodiversity. Over 15% of the UK’s population is neurodivergent. Part of the Toolkit’s intention is to start a conversation, so we would very much welcome you to join this free webinar and become part of the discussion; during which our panel will introduce and discuss the Toolkit, share their experiences relative to neurodiversity in planning and have a panel discussion on how we can make planning as accessible as possible. Chairing the session was Dr Nancy Doyle, Founder of Genius Within – a social enterprise who help neurominorities maximise their potential and work to their strengths. They reviewed and input into the Engagement Toolkit. Our panel speakers included: • Nicola Laszlo, Planning Directorate, MHCLG • Paul Kallee-Grover, MBE, Group Planning Director, The Leith Group • Jenny Offord, Co-founder of Neurodiversity in Planning
July 20, 2021
BECGconversation episode 14: MMCs – overcoming the barriers to greater adoption in housebuilding
Modern methods of construction (MMCs) have the potential to revolutionise house building and assist in reaching the target of 300,000 homes per year. They bring high-quality design, innovative building methods and, perhaps most importantly, have significant sustainability benefits. But while a good start has been made, the uptake in MMC use in housebuilding has not been as substantial as many would have liked. Joined by an expert panel, including the Government’s MMC Champion and representatives of the MMC and development sector, we explored how the government, housebuilding sector and MMC community can work together better to overcome the barriers to greater adoption, and what more is needed from Government to get the MMC revolution going? We were joined by: Mark Farmer – Government’s Champion for Modern Methods of Construction in Housebuilding Keith Blanshard – Industry Advisor, Buildoffsite Jonathan Layzell – Executive Director – Development, Stonewater Dave Sheridan – Executive Chairman, Ilke Homes Chair: Sarah Wardle – Associate Director, BECG
July 12, 2021
BECGconversation episode 13: Development in Hounslow – with Council Leader Steve Curran
The latest politician to appear in our series of London Leaders is Council Leader Steve Curran. Councillor Curran has been the leader of Hounslow since 2014 following an election that took the borough from a marginal authority into solid Labour control, which it remains to this day. On cabinet he holds the roles of planning and regeneration, emphasising the priority he places on transforming the borough through good regeneration. Known for his straight talking approach, he took us through exactly what he expects from potential investors in his borough and how the private and public sector can work together to build Hounslow's future.
June 03, 2021
BECGconversation episode 12: Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Whether you love them or hate them, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are set to remain at the top of the agenda in England’s urban areas. Over 140 Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are already in place across the country, with a further 70 are planned in response to the Government’s £250m Emergency Active Travel Fund. But what have we learned from the areas that have implemented Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, and how can developers draw on this to create new communities with walking and cycling at their heart? Our expert panel discussed these issues before taking questions from the audience to discuss the key facts, evidence and learnings about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. BECG was joined by: Mary Creagh, Chief Executive of Living Streets Councillor Claire Holland, Deputy Leader of Lambeth Council Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest Council Dr Anthony Laverty, Lecturer at Imperial College London
April 29, 2021
BECGconversation episode 11: Development in Newham - with Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz
The latest politician to appear in our series of London Leaders was Rokhsana Fiaz OBE – Mayor of Newham. In May 2018, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE was elected as Mayor of Newham, making her the first directly elected female mayor for any London borough. Prior to this, she became a councillor for Custom House Ward, and CEO of an international UNESCO supported charity promoting interfaith and global citizenship across the world. Whilst there, leading a project, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, to support youth leadership globally. Mayor Fiaz has led large-scale projects for local authorities, the European Commission and the Council of Europe, then in 2009 was honoured with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to Black and Minority Communities within the UK.
April 01, 2021
BECGconversation episode 10: Development in Hackney with Mayor Philip Glanville
Philip became Mayor in May 2016 following Jules Pipe becoming Deputy London Mayor for Planning after 14 years in charge of the borough. Prior to this, Mayor Glanville had been a Hackney Councillor for ten years. In this podcast, he shares his vision for the borough and how developers can work with the council to achieve his objectives.
March 22, 2021
BECGconversation episode 9: Delivering social value in planning
Social value is often misunderstood within the planning arena, and still hasn’t shaken off the perception that it is an inconvenience that prevents the delivery of new homes. Despite this, social value has the ability to offer something that the standard planning framework cannot – the opportunity to significantly increase the value of new development in non-commercial terms. For social value to be considered alongside viability and commercial returns, it needs to have a shared value for the private, public and voluntary sectors, ensuring that all stakeholders are benefitting from what should be the ‘golden thread’ of the planning process.
March 18, 2021
BECGconversation episode 8: Putting the Planning White Paper through it paces
BECG was joined by Clive Betts MP, Housing, Communities & Local Government Select Committee Chair and journalist Andrew Hosken as we examined the ongoing reaction to the Government’s Planning White Paper and its potential direction.
March 05, 2021
BECGconversation episode 7: Development in Lambeth – with Cllr Jack Hopkins
The latest politician to appear in our webinar series of London Leaders is Cllr Jack Hopkins, Leader of Lambeth Council. Cllr Hopkins has been a Councillor in Lambeth since 2010 and has held various cabinet roles before becoming Leader in 2019, following his predecessor Lib Peck’s move to head up Sadiq Khan’s new Violence Reduction Unit. Cllr Hopkins set out his priorities for development in Lambeth and answered some of your questions. A highly engaging speaker, it was fascinating to hear about his vision for a borough that he has served for over a decade.
February 24, 2021
BECGconversation episode 6: Garden Communities: Beyond Placemaking
With 300,000 new homes a year needed to meet Government targets, local authorities across the country have relied on Garden Communities to help meet their housing needs. Many of these schemes are large-scale and complex, and with a number of high-profile issues plaguing the progress of Garden Communities, their future is anything but certain. We hosted a panel discussion on the importance of Garden Communities in fulfilling Local Plan housing need, the challenges faced, and what can be done to speed up and ease their delivery. Our expert panel discussed key issues ranging from the role of Garden Communities in meeting the 300,000 homes annual target, public opposition the schemes, local authority ability to deliver projects, and what more Government can do to help deliver them. Panelists included: Mary Parsons – Chair of the Town and Country Planning Association Sandra Fryer – Former Board Member, and Chair of the Planning Committee, Ebbsfleet Garden City John Beresford – Managing Director, Buckland Development
January 29, 2021
BECGconversation episode 5: Building safety with Clive Betts MP and the British Property Federation
The issue of building safety has never been higher profile than it is today. As the draft Building Safety Bill nears the end of its pre-legislative scrutiny we welcomed the Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, Clive Betts MP, to a webinar to discuss the Bill and what lies ahead for UK building regulation, joined by British Property Federation’s Director of Real Estate Policy, Ian Fletcher.
November 25, 2020
Episode 4: The impact of Covid-19 on communities, jobs and housing
Our fourth episode in the BECGconversation podcast series looks at the impact that covid-19 has had on local council services, housing and employment, including how councils and organisations have come together to provide support to those who need it most. Our guests, representing a cross section of this diverse sector, are: Mayor Peter Taylor, Elected Mayor of Watford Lynsey Sweeney, Managing Director, Communities that Work Nilavra Mukerji, Senior Assistant Director, Directorate of Housing and Safer Communities at the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Royal Borough of Greenwich.
June 08, 2020
Episode 3: The Housing Association sector and Coronavirus – The CEO view
For the third episode in the BECGconversation podcast series, we gather together three Housing Association CEOs to reflect on their experience so far, what comes next, and how Government policy can help or hinder the recovery. Our guests, representing a cross section of this diverse sector, were: Jane Ashcroft, CEO of Anchor Hanover, England’s largest not for profit provider of housing and care for older people. Helen Evans, CEO of Network Homes and also chair of the G15 Group of London’s largest housing associations. Elspeth Mackenzie, CEO of Thrive Homes based in Hertfordshire.
May 14, 2020
Episode 2: The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the planning system.
For the second episode in the BECGconversation podcast series, host BECG’s Managing Director Andrew Howard discusses how the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the planning system. Andrew is joined by Andrew Whitaker, Planning Director at HBF (Home Builders Federation), Anna Rose, Head of Local Government’s Planning Advisory Service (PAS) and Gary Day, Group Land & Planning Director at McCarthy & Stone.
May 07, 2020
Episode 1: The impact of Covid-19 on the UK Property sector, and how we promote a rapid recovery.
In this first episode, in partnership with the British Property Federation, our expert speakers are: Melanie Leech CBE, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation Amelia Bright, Director of Development & Placemaking, Grosvenor and Emily Williams, Associate Director, Residential Research, Savills. Chaired by BECG MD Andrew Howard the podcast reflects on where the property and development sector finds itself today, the highlights and lowlights of our collective response, the effectiveness of Government support to date, and what the future might hold.
April 16, 2020