Day 3 – Our team reflect on MIPIM 2019!
Our head of construction, Alex Smith, reports back the final day of MIPIM:
“I’d been looking forward to the start of day three for some time. While this has been my third year at MIPIM, it was the first time that I have attended an event on one of the yachts in the harbour. I enjoyed an early breakfast with Malcolm Hollis LLP, where we discussed our respective businesses and how we may work together going forward.
“From there the day was filled with trips across the town as I attended events, presentations, and developed new relationships with contacts, referrers and potential clients. Arcadis delivered a fascinating presentation on Global Cities and their regeneration and resilience, where I learnt that Singapore is planning for driverless buses within the next three years. This was followed by a meeting with Construction News and a commitment from me to write an article for the publication!
“The final event of the day was a drinks reception hosted by United Trust Bank and James Andrew International – the room was packed, with at least 500 guests.
“As this is my final blog of MIPIM 2019, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the week’s events and conversations. Inevitably Brexit has featured heavily as media reports and results of votes filtered onto La Croisette.
“On day one the message from the UK to attendees was to ‘invest’ and indeed we and others will continue to do – the appetite and desire from the property and construction sector is very strong! Global investors still wish to spend money on residential (predominantly build to rent) and logistics developments across the UK and their confidence, come what may, has not diminished in the last 12 months.
“However, with countless delegations from all corners of the UK in many separate pavilions along the promenade, I do feel that opportunities may be missed, simply by virtue of cities and regions not coming together to showcase what we can offer. While many of the messages across the week have been ones of connectivity, there is still more we can do to make the most of UK PLC!”
Rounding off our MIPIM diary is our head of planning, Simon Stanion, who reflects on the key themes for planners from MIPIM 2019:
“The atmosphere in the Midlands Pavilion has been particularly upbeat throughout, with many exciting development portfolios marking significant investment opportunities across the region.
“On a national scale, the regeneration of our towns and cities is high on local authority agendas in recognition of the need to maintain the vitality and viability of our town and city centres. There is a growing need for development to adapt to modern day living styles, with focus on both buildings and the spaces around them, in order to create attractive and accessible areas where people can live, work, shop and enjoy their leisure time.
“The focus must be to deliver sustainable development – something which, frankly, planning authorities up and down the country have failed to sufficiently achieve, particularly in the residential sector. However, part of the problem is that other ‘P’ word – politics – with too many planning decisions still being taken against officer advice.
“There is also a serious resources issues in many local planning authorities which leads to important major development proposals being stuck in the planning system for far longer than they should be, and consequently, the delivery of such developments being delayed. Both issues need addressing if planning authorities wish to be seen to be actively promoting sustainable development in their areas.
“Government continues to have a key role to play, both in terms of funding and planning policy. Therefore, it is notable that the Chancellor announced a package to unlock large housing sites with £717 million of targeted infrastructure funding, reform to parts of the planning system and steps to ensure new-builds are more energy efficient, as part of his Spring Statement earlier this week.”