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First Developers' Forum offered “open and honest discussion"

First Developers' Forum offered “open and honest discussion

Friday 03 December 2021

First Developers' Forum offered “open and honest discussion"

Politicians responsible for planning have met with property developers to discuss how to help them "progress their developments and get things built".

The Development & Planning Authority's first Developers' Forum included around a dozen developers. The Authority and several developers said the meeting was positive.

An invitation was sent earlier this year to businesses in the construction industry asking them to take part in a conversation with the Authority about the planning process and obstacles that could stop or slow development. The move was welcomed by the industry. 

“We really want to help developers progress their developments and get things built because we know there’s a lot of pressure on the housing market right now,” said Deputy Victoria Oliver, the President of the Authority.

“We want to identify where there are blockages and what we can do to make it a better and faster process. We can do that only by doing what we did today, which is getting everyone in a room to have a very honest and open discussion.

“It’s been an extraordinary two years for this industry, which, like others, has had to cope with constant changes as a result of the pandemic, lockdowns and border restrictions."

Pictured: The Development & Planning Authority said it wanted to organise more discussions with property developers to understand any barriers which may be hindering their work.

Catharine Walter of Walter Property said: "It was very worthwhile. It was a good opportunity for developers to meet with the Development & Planning Authority and to air our problems and concerns. I'm hoping that some useful points will be taken forward."

James Ridout of Wheeler Developments said: "I think today was very worthwhile to get a group of developers in the room. To talk openly about various situations that don't just affect planning...and it's brought a whole load of issues to light that maybe these guys hadn't thought about. And we've been able to see the perspective from their side."

The two-hour session included discussion about house prices, development frameworks, protected buildings and how delays in the planning and development process could be avoided.

“Today was incredibly productive and I want to thank all those who attended,” said Deputy Oliver.

“We’ve listened very closely and we will be having more sessions like this one in the future. Some of the issues raised go far beyond planning alone and we’ll be feeding back...to colleagues across the States in all committees where the issues are relevant to their mandates.”

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