Memorandum by Clive Dutton, Director of
Regeneration, Gallagher Estates Limited (GRI 30)
I welcome the opportunity to give evidence to
the Urban Affairs Sub-Committee of the House of Commons Select
Committee on ODPM Housing, Planning, Local Government and the
Regions Inquiry into the Effectiveness of Government Regeneration
My experience in urban regeneration involves
senior management positions with a variety of organisations involved
in area based inner-city urban regeneration.
This includes senior roles with an Urban Development
Corporation, a City Challenge partnership and a deprived multi-cultural
inner urban Metropolitan Borough Council.
In addition, I have undertaken national roles
including secondment to DTLR in 2000 to work on the Urban White
I am currently Director of Regeneration for
Gallagher Estates, which is a private company promoting and delivering
major development projects, including substantial new and extended
communities across the UK.
I have worked in inner urban regeneration for
over 15 years and believe passionately that appropriate and sustained
area based regeneration can bring substantial long-lasting benefits
to urban communities where the quality of life is most degraded.
In my view the potential for still greater regeneration
potency is significant, with major lessons to be learnt from practical
experience across the country.
The following suggestions are drawn from first-hand
Sufficient and appropriate transformational
geographic targeting to provide a critical mass impact that is
visible to all.
A defined priority regeneration area
which relates to need and opportunity, irrespective of local authority
Tailor-made solutions to the circumstances
of a particular area with flexibility to respond to opportunity.
Effective and ambitious political
and executive leadership at the local level.
The presence of a fit-for-purpose
independent delivery vehicle focused on implementation.
Local Government officials who are
liberated from bureaucratic distraction to focus on co-ordinated
implementation across their organisation, with a "can do"
culture in the best interests of the regeneration efforts.
Engagement of appropriate private
sector investment and development involvement from the outset.
Commercial acumen upon the part of
the public sector participants.
Streamlined public sector resources
and intervention on a quantum scale, proportionate to the scale
of the challenge, in lieu of a myriad of short term, small scale,
reactive Government led initiatives.
A clear commitment from local authorities
with other partners to sustain time limited area-based initiatives
to maintain momentum and build further on achievements. Successful
regeneration is an on-going process, not delivered in short, sharp
bursts and then allowed to wither on the vine. Appropriate area-based
management arrangements are important in this respect.
Full engagement of an empowered community
with some degree of devolution of responsibilities based on clarity
of purpose, and trust.
I would further suggest to the Urban Affairs
Sub-Committee that key requirements include:
Area-based initiatives being set
in the context of a long-term vision for a wider area or sub-region
looking twenty to thirty years hence.
Concentration on larger critical
mass area-based initiatives that are in the national and regional,
as well as local interests.
Government being a stakeholder through
a "compact" with regional and local organisations to
achieve effective transformation.
With regard to further opportunities to deploy
this approach it would appear that the Housing Market Renewal
Fund currently provides great potential in this regard.