In an exclusive interview with London West Chris Holdup gave unique access to the mode outlook and how they can help developers in West London.
The London Plan presents developers in West London with major transport challenges when considering developments in opportunity areas such as Heathrow.
Chris said , “For example, the Heathrow Opportunity Area covers a significant area with wildly varying conditions across it. The maximum parking standards for employment land uses within these Opportunity Areas are six times lower than anywhere else in outer London boroughs, so this can make it very difficult for developers to make land buying decisions ahead of discussing specific conditions of a site with the local authorities and TfL as part of the pre-application process, where for example there may be very limited alternatives to car travel on offer.
He went on to say,
“We do have innovative ways of working with the local authorities and TfL to find appropriate solutions for developers, but this can be a bit of a process and I am concerned that these policies may be putting off developers and restricting opportunities for development.
“One of the issues is that London Plan parking standards for employment uses are really aimed at office space. Restricting car parking for office use makes more sense to a certain extent, but for industrial and logistics operations it isn’t as straightforward and more car parking may be required, without necessarily making a site any less sustainable.”
When asked how mode can work best with clients he said,
” An opportunity to review sites at an early stage. We’re always happy to help our clients at short notice with this and ultimately it helps us over the lifecycle of a project as well.
“Then at the first opportunity available, we would always recommend early dialogue with the relevant borough and their highways team, as well as TfL.
“We believe very passionately in working proactively with Council officers and those at TfL. The sooner we can open a conversation with them, the better we can help manage the journey towards a positive planning outcome.”
On discussing his new role Chris spoke about what the future holds for mode,
“Like everyone really, we’re continuing to make sense of the industry and marketplace in a post-covid world. But over the last 18-months we have been servicing our clients in a variety of sectors at quite some pace, so I suppose the hopes and aspirations are that this continues.
“We have four offices throughout the UK, but in London our aim is to solidify our position in the London market place, by building upon why clients come back to us, whilst reaching out further to find new clients who like what we’re about. We’re almost always recruiting, which is a sign of our growth, and we hope to continue growing the team so we can work on even more exciting projects in London itself and out into the Home Counties.”
Chris also highlighted work on some key projects in Alperton, Heathrow and Southall.
Chris was interviewed by Mike Lightfoot on Thursday May 5 2022.
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