‘Time to put people before profit’

Homebuilders need to “stop being greedy” and think less about profit and more about people’s quality of life.

That was the strong message from Wayne Hemingway, founder of Hemingway Design, to the Lancashire Property Conference 2020.

The Morecambe-born, Blackburn-raised designer was one of the keynote speakers at the virtual conference, attended by almost 100 delegates from across the county.

He told the gathering that new research revealed that people classed as millennials and Gen-Z were unhappy with new housing developments built in the last few years.

And he added: “Fresh air and green space has become more important to people’s lives than ever before.”

Wayne was also highly critical of some city centre residential developments. He said: “They have not been thought about in terms of quality of life and well-being.

“They have been thought about in terms of that bottom line, getting on the land and off the land as fast as possible and making as much profit as you can.”

He said the future should not be about maximising profits but creating a happy customer base and a balanced society. And he also called for reforms to the current planning system.

Fresh air and green space has become more important to people’s lives than ever before.

The event was sponsored by Blackpool Council and Harrison Drury Solicitors.

It was the latest in Lancashire Business View’s Insight series – debates which aim to get to the heart of the issues that really matter to businesses in the county.

Guest speakers and expert panellists debated the future of property development and management in the county.

Discussions covered the future of our high streets, city living, sustainable housing and the future of the office. Decision-makers from the private and public sector, developers, landlords, businesses and other related industries took part in the debates.

The event was co-hosted by Lancashire Business View publisher, Richard Slater and BBC journalist Mike Stevens.

Other keynote speakers were Emily Handslip, commercial director of Urban Splash, and Simon Quin, executive director of the High Streets Task Force.

There will be full coverage of the Lancashire Property Conference 2020 in the November/December issue of Lancashire Business View.

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