The Changing Investment Agenda - West Midlands
December 10th 2020
Balancing Commerciality with Social Responsibility & Sustainability
Team Leader, Ecology, Historic Environment and Landscape
Warwickshire County Council
David manages a team 13 Ecological officers, plus 6 hosted Wildlife Trust officers; 4 Historic Environment advisory officers; and 3 Landscape Officers. The Ecology Unit provides Development Management and Strategic Planning advice to both internally and external partner Local Authorities. The Ecology Team won the CIEEM Local Planning Authority of the Year 2019 award for its implementation and advocacy of Biodiversity Net Gain. As such David is considered to be a Biodiversity Net Gain Guru.
So far, the Council has secured over £2.2 million and begun to create/restore over 34.5ha with over 40ha more to be secured by the end of this financial year. The team is also piloting an approach that integrates Great Crested Newt District Licencing into the Defra Metric to grant licences on permission. The County continues to pioneer ‘Connectivity Mapping’ with CEH, Natural England and the Universities of Oxford, York and Liverpool to place Landscape Ecology. Biodiversity Net Gain and Species Conservation at the heart of sub-regional and national Green Infrastructure Strategies.
Our aim is to provide ‘certainty’ at the heart of planning.
Jo joined Stoford in 2018 after more than ten years in planning consultancy, most recently as a Director at Turley, Birmingham.
Jo specialised as a planning consultant in securing planning permission for complex strategic sites for a number of developers and landowners. Jo also has significant experience of land promotion through the Development Plan process.
Having advised Stoford as a client since 2014, Jo joined the Board as Stoford’s in-house Planning Director. Jo continues to manage the planning process for Worcester Six and key projects for the business including Redditch Gateway, whilst managing external project teams towards securing planning permission; and working with Development Directors to identify new opportunities.
Away from the office Jo enjoys skiing, travel, socialising with friends and gin-king!
UK Director of Development and Construction
Having trained as a Civil Engineer and then Chartered Surveyor, Robin leads the development team and is responsible for bringing forward future regeneration schemes together with retail/asset extensions. Completed projects include The Oracle, Reading; Bullring, Birmingham; Highcross, Leicester; Cabot Circus, Bristol; Union Square, Aberdeen; Victoria Gate, Leeds and Watermark, Southampton.
He also worked with Hammerson France to deliver Terrasses du Port, a €450m retail led redevelopment of the Marseille docks which opened in 2014.
Robin also has responsibility for bringing forward pipeline Joint Venture development projects in Croydon and Brent Cross in London.
Robin sits on the CR Board and Investment Committee at Hammerson and is a member of the BPF and FRICS.
Chairperson: David Blackadder-Weinstein, Director, Strategic Communications, Turley
We will explore the prospects for the region, the opportunities for investment and the challenges of getting projects off the ground. The big issue for investors is BALANCING COMMERCIALITY WITH SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY & SUSTAINABILITY.
Movers & Shakers has set out Four Pillars for 2020: SUSTAINABILITY | INCLUSIVITY | SOCIAL VALUES | TECHNOLOGY. These will run through all of our 2020 events.
The panel will look at how investment decisions are now being made. Environmental Social Governance (ESG) and Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) sit at the top of the agenda. Risk now requires more intricate data (the role of technology) and ROI is now viewed in terms of both ethical / social and financial rewards. Have we reached a point where ethical investments deliver better returns than broader real estate investments?
The West Midlands is showing no signs of letting up and is considered to be the UK’s new growth capital; with continued significant economic growth. What will the latest HS2 news mean to the WM’s and the wider region? A record 775,000 sq ft of office space was completed in Birmingham in 2019; the supply is being met with strong demand - 53% of the pipeline is already pre-let. Housing targets remain high and more partnerships and joint ventures are emerging between Government bodies, the Private sector and Housing Associations to meet demand.
This topic comes at a very appropriate time, to ensure the Market delivers with the correct balance between commercial and social responsibility. Join us to get up to speed on the latest thinking in this area.