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Place Podcast

Place Podcast

By Place North West
Property analysis + commentary brought to you by regional business publication Place North West
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Building a better future for the construction industry Ft Stuart Stead and Ben Fearns | Place Podcast

Place Podcast

COP26 | Examining the sustainability of brick
As we push for sustainable development, more and more attention is being paid to building materials. Stephanie Palmer, head of sustainability at Wienerberger UK joins Place North West to talk about brick's green credentials as well as what the company is doing to mitigate its carbon footprint. To find out more, visit
November 12, 2021
Is heritage the enemy of regeneration? | Place Podcast
Do heritage properties help or hinder efforts to revitalise a community? In the latest Place North West podcast, we zoom in on Rochdale to see how history is shaping the future. Rochdale Development Agency heritage director Emma Birkett and Donald Insall Associates director Simon Malam share how they’re tackling the challenges of heritage-led regeneration and the rewards such projects bring. Visit to find out more.
November 8, 2021
COP26 | How Britain’s ageing infrastructure could defeat its green ambitions
The UK’s electrical grid infrastructure is in dire need of an dire upgrade if the country is going to meet its renewable energy goals by 2035, says Pegasus Group in the latest Place North West podcast episode. Building more wind and solar farms can only go so far when it comes to transforming the nation’s energy system. Without the proper infrastructure in place, we cannot truly maximise the potential of clean energy. So how bad is the issue? We recruited experts from Pegasus Group, senior director Simon Tarr and senior acquisition surveyor Ben Thompson, to find out. Visit
November 5, 2021
COP26 | Why is the market pushing for net zero faster than legislation? 
On this episode of Place North West’s COP26 podcast series, HBD and Cundall discuss why some developers are taking it upon themselves to get ahead of the curve in terms of sustainability, while government legislation on the issue lags behind. Lee Treanor, director at HDB, and Paul Kenyon, partner at multi-disciplinary practice Cundall, also explore how the term ‘net zero’ is being used and misused and what more can be done to help people tell fact from fiction when claims about a building’s carbon credentials are made. Could a single, formalised framework like Nabers provide the development community a clearer, more defined path towards net zero? Will brown discounts and green premiums become a reality in the future as many predict? To find out more, visit
November 2, 2021
COP26 | How to deliver net zero buildings for the NHS
Healthcare developer Assura delves into the challenges it faces in creating sustainable medical facilities, and how it's overcoming them, in this episode of our COP26 podcast series. By their nature, healthcare properties are energy-hungry with their need to support specialist equipment at all times. So how can we construct new facilities in a way that helps the UK meet its net zero carbon goals? We recruited Assura chief executive officer Jonathan Murphy and senior development manager Ashley Seymour to share what they’re doing to craft sustainable buildings. To find out more, visit
October 29, 2021
COP26 | Retrofitting in action: lessons learned from ForHousing
As part of the COP26 podcast series, we've talked about retrofitting quite a lot - from a general overview of the issue to best practices. But what's it like on the ground level? ForHousing has embarked on an assertive course of action to retrofit its properties, with all its properties set to be EPC band C by 2030. It's also working with the University of Southampton to research the best ways to retrofit going forward. With that in mind, we recruited ForHousing group chief executive Colette McKune to share the lessons learned from putting retrofitting best practices into action. To find out more, visit
October 26, 2021
COP26 | The two questions you need to ask about EV charging stations
Electric vehicles are on the rise as the UK pushes for net zero, which means more and more EV charging stations are needed. But before you add an EV charging unit to your scheme you need to answer two very important questions: How will it be powered? Where will it go? Pegasus executive director and environmental planner Andrew Cook delves into each question to propose solutions that will help your scheme maximise its sustainability credentials. To find out more, visit
October 22, 2021
COP26 | Back to basics: Cutting through the net-zero noise
When it comes to minimising carbon footprints, companies should keep things simple and take steps to measure, monitor, and manage energy consumption before considering investing heavily in largely untested technologies, according to energy provider Unify. Sarah Bateman, chief executive of Unify Energy, explains why spending money on solar panels, so-called green energy and EV charging points might not be the wisest thing for businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact to do right now. To find out more, email:
October 19, 2021
COP26 | Retrofitting 101: the dos and don’ts of making old buildings sustainable
Engineering consulting firm WSP delves into the ins and outs of retrofitting beyond just housing, tackling how commercial projects need to get on board to help the UK meet its net zero ambitions in this episode of Place North West’s COP26 podcast series. Given that 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 are already built, retrofitting is no longer an option but a necessity. Kate Dougherty, WSP’s head of net zero and sustainability for building services, gives a crash course on best practices for retrofitting. To find out more, visit
October 15, 2021
Best practices for developing around transit hubs | Place Podcast
Regenerating brownfield sites surrounding transport infrastructure is the key topic in this podcast with Rochdale Council and Broadway Malyan. As we push for more brownfield developments, creating communities around areas like train stations seems like a no-brainer. Using the Rochdale Rail Corridor as a jumping-off point, Broadway Malyan’s Danny Crump and Rochdale Council’s cabinet member for economy Cllr John Blundell give a crash course on maximising the potential of these transport infrastructure hotspots. For more information, visit
October 14, 2021
COP26 | What is the public sector doing to meet net zero targets?
In this episode, we explore the ways in which public authorities are working towards Greater Manchester’s net-zero carbon target of 2038 and hear about the drivers and the challenges involved. To discuss this our host Paul Unger was joined by Sarah Holland, programme and policy lead for energy at Greater Manchester Combined Authority; Dmitri Korolenko, lead sustainability & physics engineer at SI Sealy; and by Matt Pickford, technical director at SI Sealy. To find out more, visit
October 12, 2021
COP26 | How can green infrastructure combat climate change?
Environmental consultancy LUC shares its expertise on how smart landscape design and ecology-minded planning can help the UK reach its net zero goal in this episode of Place North West’s COP26 podcast series. Green infrastructure is the phrase of the moment and one of the key ways that developers and local authorities can make schemes environmentally friendly. Together with LUC’s senior planner Lucy Wallwork and landscape architect Alex Burton, we look at how green infrastructure can be used from a site level to a regional one.
October 8, 2021
COP26 | How can engineers maximise sustainability in development?
As the impacts of climate change worsen, it’s more important than ever that we try and build in a sustainable fashion. Civic Engineers directors Paul Morris and James Bruce share how engineers can help projects boost biodiversity and reduce carbon footprints. Civic Engineers is a civil, structural and transport engineering practice focused on having a positive impact on the environment and enabling people to lead happier and healthier lives. Its 135-strong team delivers projects that help to create and transform buildings, neighbourhoods, and cities, bringing significant economic, social, and environmental benefits to those places for all that live, work, and visit there. To find out more, visit
October 5, 2021
COP26 | How can we retrofit the country’s housing stock? 
There are concerns within the social housing sector about how they will afford technologies such as air source heat pumps and if tenants will accept them. And while housing associations go about putting plans together for retrofitting programmes that could cost hundreds of millions of pounds, private homeowners need to be encouraged to do more to make their homes fit for the future. In this episode, Laura Dunlop, founder of GLD Technical Consulting, and Sandy Livingstone, executive director of property at Onward Homes, discuss what solutions are available to housing associations and private homeowners alike, and the financial implications of such interventions. Visit to find out more
October 1, 2021
COP26 | How do you create a net zero, new-build office?
Bruntwood Works is aiming to create the first carbon neutral commercial building in the country. In this latest episode of Place North West’s Cop26 podcast series, we ask how it can be done and, more importantly, if it can be replicated at scale. The UK Green Building Council is pushing for all buildings to be net-zero by 2050. If the development community is going to achieve that, a blueprint on how to create truly sustainable new-build offices needs to be worked up. As one of the country’s largest landlord/developers, Bruntwood is hoping to play a key role in creating that blueprint, and sharing its knowledge. In this episode, Aisling McNulty, development director at Bruntwood Works, and Sophie West, policy and strategic project manager at Bruntwood, discuss assembling the right project team, selecting the correct materials, and what it is like to play a leading role in the pursuit of net-zero. Visit to find out more
September 28, 2021
COP26 | How can the UK harness wind energy to fight climate change?
Wind energy is the future of sustainable power, so how can we maximise its potential? Pegasus Group executive planning director Chris Calvert and environment director Dale Turner join Julia Hatmaker to weigh in on the opportunities and obstacles surrounding wind energy in this episode of Place North West’s COP26 podcast series. To find out more, visit
September 24, 2021
COP26 | How is the drive for net-zero impacting landlord and tenant relationships? 
In this latest episode of Place North West’s COP26 podcast series, TLT legal director Joseph Meredith takes us through the nuanced world of landlord/tenant relationships in the net-zero era. The drive for net-zero is not going away and there are thousands of commercial buildings across the country that need to be brought in line with changing legislation and expectations. But who should foot the bill for this work, those who own the buildings or those who use them? Visit TLT to find out more about its services.
September 21, 2021
COP26 | What are the five easy ways to improve your EPC rating?
Welcome to the Place North West COP26 podcast series, featuring some of the biggest names in property and exploring all things net zero carbon and sustainability within the built environment. In this opening episode, Andrew Knapp and David Cadwallader, directors at MEES Solutions, join Place North West's deputy editor Julia Hatmaker to discuss, in detail, the five easy ways to improve your EPC rating, and why good things may come to those who wait when it comes to EPC rating. To find out more, visit MEES Solutions. 
September 10, 2021
TLT on green finance in affordable housing | Place Podcast
Shazia Bashir, housing & regeneration partner at TLT, joins Paul Unger to discuss green finance.  Green finance is on the rise and never more so than in the UK's affordable housing sector. In this podcast, Shazia and Paul look at the trends driving the market, the avenues available to access green finance, and the challenges faced by registered providers in meeting the UK's net zero carbon emissions target. Visit TLT to find out more. 
September 7, 2021
How to tackle the UK's skills shortage problem | Place Podcast
HMS’ managing director Paul Worthington, construction director John Barrow, commercial director Ian McGillivary, and maintenance director Alison Brown joined deputy editor Julia Hatmaker to hammer out the root causes of the skills shortage and, what is more, discuss what can be done to solve it.
August 23, 2021
What is holding co-living back? Ft. Colin Shenton + Andrew Purdon | Place Podcast
Colin Shenton, chief executive of the Shenton Group, and Andrew Purdon, head of co-living transactions at CBRE, joined reporter Dan Whelan to thrash out the issues currently preventing the co-living sector really taking off and discuss what can be done to break through the barriers.
June 30, 2021
Permitted development and its impact on town centres | Place Podcast
Permitted development was introduced to speed up the planning process and tackle housing shortages, but has it had the desired effect and will recent changes to the rules have a positive or negative impact on our town and city centres? Victoria Leam, solicitor at Kuits, and Justine Entezari, associate at Iceni Projects, joined Place North West reporter Dan Whelan to run the rule over the permitted development landscape and discuss how their clients are navigating the complicated web of changing legislation.
June 17, 2021
Getting under the skin of town centre regeneration | Place Podcast
Phil Mayall, board director at regeneration specialists Muse Developments and Mark Robinson, chair of the High Streets Taskforce, join Place North West reporter Dan Whelan to discuss the pitfalls of the one-size fits-all approach to regeneration, how to unearth a town’s purpose and identity, and what the future holds for this increasingly scrutinised sector.
April 22, 2021
Are we winning the race to net-zero carbon? | Place Podcast
Richard Lewis, technical and quality director at M&E consultancy Davies Partnership - alongside Paul Gerrard, director of developer For Living, and Victoria Alderton, director of architect Paddock Johnson - joined Place North West reporter Dan Whelan to discuss how the industry is handling the sustainability challenge.
April 12, 2021
The co-living story so far ft. Colin Shenton + Jackson Torchia | Place Podcast
Colin Shenton, chief executive of the Shenton Group, and Jackson Torchia, house manager at Oppidan Life, join reporter Dan Whelan to discuss co-living and to provide an insight into the emerging sector, the factors driving its growth, where it is headed next and how Oppidan Life plans to tap into the market in the coming years.
April 6, 2021
Discussing licences in principle with Kuits and Bruntwood | Place Podcast
Felicity Tulloch, head of licensing at award-winning law firm, Kuits, and Chris Middleton, commercial manager at Bruntwood, join Place North West editor, Sarah Townsend, to discuss all things licences in principle. 
March 30, 2021
Building a better future for the construction industry Ft Stuart Stead and Ben Fearns | Place Podcast
After a tough year for construction firms, Stuart Stead, head of construction and property at accountancy firm Cowgills, and Ben Fearns, managing director of developer Novo Property Group, discuss the biggest issues facing the industry and what can be done to improve the outlook for medium-sized contractors in an increasingly competitive market. Much like 2019, this year has seen a number of high-profile firms forced to call in administrators as cashflow problems, exacerbated by the Covid-19 lockdown, made it impossible to continue trading. Guests on this Place North West podcast, hosted by Dan Whelan and sponsored by Hargreaves Contracting, discuss how the industry needs to change in order to prevent more firms going the same way as the likes of Cruden Construction, Harry Fairclough and others. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed by the guests on this podcast are not necessarily shared by the episode sponsor
December 22, 2020
Lessons from the pandemic with Sean Anstee and Cllr Elise Wilson | Place Podcast
Stockport Council leader Wilson, and former Trafford Council leader Anstee, now executive director at Cratus Communications, discuss how Covid-19 has impacted them personally and professionally, and what it means for the future of place making and community engagement, in this Place North West podcast. This podcast was sponsored by Cratus Communications and hosted by Sarah Townsend, editor of Place North West. Questions asked in this episode: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to grapple with over the past eight months? What is the role of local authorities in stimulating greater confidence among local businesses and communities? How successful has the move towards digital planning and public consultation been in engaging hard-to-reach stakeholders What needs to happen to ensure that local economies are resilient and well positioned to bounce back quickly from the pandemic-enforced slowdown? What further collaboration is required between city regions, central Government and the private sector to drive that hoped-for recovery? Aside from a vaccine roll-out, what are your top asks for 2021 that would help the region, and the country, emerge robust from a rough period?
November 24, 2020
AEW eyes ‘evolution, not revolution’ after buyout | Place Podcast
In an interview with Place North West, Andy Rainford and Colin Savage explain why their strategy as they take the reins from former majority shareholder and most recent MD Andy Critchlow will never be about “ripping up the rulebook”. Rather, it is about “evolution, not revolution” in the words of Rainford, who defines his priorities as building on the strengths of the business and deepening its offering.
October 7, 2020
Will planning reform lead to beautiful development? ft. Paddock Johnson and Grimster Planning | Place Podcast
The Government’s proposed changes to the much-maligned planning system aim to slash the red tape, speed up housing delivery and prioritise creating beautiful places for people to live, but whether the reforms are as radical as Whitehall claims remains to be seen. Place North West reporter, Dan Whelan, is joined by Simon Halliwell, director of wirral-based architecture firm Paddock Johnson, and Steve Grimster, director of Cheshire-based planning consultancy Grimster Planning, to discuss the new reforms.
September 30, 2020
Navigating landlord and tenant relations amid Covid-19 | Place Podcast
Experts discuss how the pandemic has impacted landlords and occupiers of commercial property and what this means for the future of leases, in this Place North West podcast sponsored by law firm Kuits Solicitors. David Moroney, commercial property partner at Kuits, is joined by Andrew Cooke, director of Manchester at Bruntwood Works, the developer’s offices arm, which creates and manages more than 5m sq ft of workspace across the UK. Questions asked in this episode: • Have tenants generally failed to pay rent during the pandemic, and, if so, what legal issues has this raised? What is the legal position for each party? • To what extent are landlords and funders demonstrating flexibility with regard lease and other property agreements? • How will the current environment impact landlord and tenant relations going forward, and what can we expect in terms of new leases? Will companies seek shorter, more flexible terms? • How are commercial landlords working to achieve a safe reopening of office and retail property for their occupiers? • Will there be any issues that need resolving during this transition period, such as increased service charges as offices are managed more carefully?
June 19, 2020
Women in property with Shannon Conway | Place Podcast
The chair of Women in Property North West said addressing the problem of inequality together and searching for solutions rather than apportioning blame is the key to unlocking the innovation that true diversity can deliver. When she became chair of Women in Property North West, Conway, who is also residential director at Glenbrook, completed her conversion from sceptic to believer having spent the early part of her career distancing herself from the group. She spoke to Place North West about that journey and her plans for the group going forward.
May 26, 2020
How has Covid-19 affected the construction industry? A legal viewpoint from Kuits Solicitors and Walker Sime | The Place Podcast
Experts Charlie Tomlinson, head of construction, Kuits Solicitors and Mark Bond, director, Walker Sime Ltd discuss the legal viewpoint on how the pandemic has impacted construction contracts, and how to avoid disputes.
May 18, 2020
MTX MD David Hartley talks modern methods of construction | The Place Podcast
MTX Contracts is a construction and engineering firm based in Wilmslow which provides modular building solutions for the NHS and private healthcare clients. Managing director David Hartley talked to Place North West reporter Dan Whelan about how the business has evolved from providing cold storage units for the frozen food sector, the changing face of healthcare in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and why modern methods of construction are becoming increasingly popular. Questions asked in this episode: • What exactly are modern methods of construction? • What are the benefits of off-site construction? • What does the future of modular construction look like post Covid-19? • Why should healthcare clients consider using the services of a company like MTX over traditional building firm? Main takeaways: • Modern methods of construction provide a fast-track, greener, alternative to traditional construction • The idea that modular buildings are somehow less structurally sound than traditionally constructed buildings is a myth • By constructing wards and operating theatres off-site, disruption to the day-to-day running of hospitals is minimised • Modular units can be easily adapted to suit the evolving nature of hospital treatment • 85% of MTX’s revenues come from the NHS
May 6, 2020