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Interview: Neil Vokes from Camden Council

Fri 2nd February 2018, 10:09 am

Sitematch London met with Neil Vokes, Camden’s director of development, to find out why the local authority will attend the event on 8 February 2018.

Could you say something about your role and responsibilities at Camden Council?

I joined Camden back in May 2017 as the new director of development and head up the council’s ambitious Community Investment Programme (CIP), which directly delivers new housing, schools and community facilities on behalf of the borough.

Camden is a place that is dynamic, creative and socially mixed. These characteristics are under threat by the pressure on housing which affects all aspects of our community – from cohesion, to the delivery of public services to the ability of our businesses to access the skills they need to grow.

Camden’s strategic response to this challenge is through our CIP. We have a strong track record of delivery, constructing to-date over 680 new homes, 229 of which are at council rent. We’ve recently completed major residential schemes at Bourne and Maiden Lane as well as completed a new primary school at Liddle Road.

We have an internal team of 60 professionals working in our development and regeneration teams; delivering new homes, new schools and new community centres in partnership with our residents and stakeholders. We are committed to delivering high-quality schemes and this has been borne out in the national awards that many of our developments have won, including Bacton Low Rise, which won housing development of the year in 2016.

I am responsible for overseeing the delivery of the approved CIP programme, which will see a further 1,200 new homes delivered across existing projects. This includes delivering the future pipeline of development opportunities, which include major development opportunities at Camley Street, Gospel Oak and Haverstock and a small sites programme.

What will be your key objectives for attending Sitematch this year?

The main objective will be to use the event as an opportunity to talk to people from a wide range of disciplines about development and Camden’s programme in particular. To see if there are opportunities to work with contractors and design teams on our approved programme and to learn from best practice elsewhere.

We’ll be tendering for some major work contracts in 2018 on a number of projects across the borough. We will also have other commissions covering a range of disciplines from design to EA services.

Then, on the future development opportunities, we would welcome conversations with people about what examples there are out there of successful regeneration projects which we could learn from. We are interested in understanding more around co-living and developing more opportunities around off-site manufacturing.

What are some of the key development opportunities in Camden?

Many of the development opportunities are listed on our website.

In the approved programme we have major build contracts to tender for Bacton Phase 2 and latter phases of some of our large estate regeneration projects.

And looking forwards we have the redevelopment of Camley Street. This is aunique opportunity to redevelop the existing Cedar Way industrial estate into a mixed-use redevelopment adjacent to Kings Cross.

What qualities do you look for in private sector partners?

We have made the decision to directly deliver our schemes. In engaging with the private sector in bringing forward our schemes, we look for organisations who share the same values as the borough, which see residents and local stakeholders as central to any good redevelopment partners and which are committed to delivering the highest quality new homes, schools and community facilities.

If you'd like to meet Camden Council at Sitematch London on 8 February 2018, contact Josie Brewer on 020 7978 6840.

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