Delivering regeneration: September’s meeting
Regeneration was the focus of September’s HIDB meeting – a topic pertinent to Hertfordshire but also for development more broadly. With the ‘brownfield first’ rhetoric from Whitehall there is a clear desire for regeneration projects to come forward, and members of the HIDB shared their thoughts on how we might be able to deliver this across the county.
Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council talked members through the myriad of successful regeneration projects from her own authority, showcasing best practice and inspiring the group with tales of speedy turnarounds for new development.
Gagan Mohindra, MP for South West Hertfordshire also joined the meeting as keynote and reiterated Hertfordshire’s important role in the Levelling Up agenda.
The workshop sessions were useful in sharing potential solutions to problems faced by developers in the room, notably with resourcing issues halting delivery of projects. Complex stakeholder engagement was cited by many as a barrier to effective regeneration.
Justine Fancy, Programme Director at Lovell summed up the session by stating how much synergy there was between groups debating the issues, everyone in the same boat and pulling in the same direction. One thing was clear – communication is key. Residents, politicians and the wider communities within which we all operate need to be taken on a journey and developers need to take ownership of their projects from cradle to grave. This is key to the delivery of regeneration in Hertfordshire.