I’ve been following Channel 4’s Great British Property Scandal with interest this week. It’s pressed home some important points about how bringing empty homes back into use could help tackle the housing shortage. Many in the media will sit up and take notice of the issue following the programmes and the stories they have thrown up, which has to be a good thing.
One scheme I am familiar with in Swindon will be featured as part of the series as a positive example of what can be done to address the problem. The Triangle, delivered by Kevin McCloud’s Hab Oakus, is set to feature in his Grand Designs documentaries.
I remember attending an event with partners and housing minister Grant Shapps to mark the start of work on the site in May last year. That feels like an age ago. I look forward to seeing it featured now it is complete.
I returned from the Easter break today to the good news that a planning application to transform the derelict Cashes Green Hospital in Stroud into new homes and community facilities has been submitted to the local planning authority to consider.
I blogged in January about the impressive level of consultation that had gone into shaping the proposals that have been submitted to Stroud District Council. Hundreds of people living near the site have been engaged, through attending the regular consultation events, having newsletters sent to their home or reading the dozens of media articles that have reported on the plans in recent months. In many ways the consultation led by Hab Oakus, a joint venture led by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud and GreenSquare Group, has been textbook stuff.
By any measure, 2010 has been a hell of year. On a personal level, it saw me relocate, switch jobs and get to know a new part of the country. For the sectors in which I work and the country at large, it was a year that saw a shift towards a new ‘reality’, sometimes at a bewildering pace.
For me, it can be summed up as a tough but rewarding 12 months. I’ve met some interesting people (a few of whom are detailed below) and worked on plenty of great projects along the way.
Below, in no particular order, are the five things I will remember most about 2010 (from a professional perspective). There are others I would perhaps rather forget, but I dare not blog about them (that’s PR for you).
Having good quality photography to support our work has been tough to come by for much of this year, thanks mainly to a spending freeze which has virtually stopped all work from being commissioned by the agency. But there has still been the occasional great image to use, often generated by partners who thankfully see the value that decent pictures can add to a story.
Here’s a (small) collection of my more memorable snaps from 2010. Thanks to the partners who supplied these images during the year.