Why development has to be all about communitiesMay 06th 2015
What makes Bouygues Development different? Its Managing Director, Nicolas Guérin discusses….
I’m often asked what makes Bouygues Development different from other property development firms. It’s easy to provide answers: we’re better at working in partnership; we combine the backing of the global Bouygues Group with local expertise via a network of offices across the UK; and we tend to be quicker than our competitors at spotting opportunities and acting on them.
But what really sets us apart is our focus on communities. The aggressive protests that overshadowed the MIPIM UK event at London’s Olympia in October highlight the strength of feeling about the disparity in certain areas – particularly in London – between the ambitions of property developers and the needs and wants of local people.
While many other developers have focused on luxury schemes that cater to wealthy UK and overseas investors, our developments aim to meet the needs of the local market, delivering a better quality of life for the people who use them.
Our focus on communities is clear from looking at the projects we work on, many of which are mixed-use regeneration schemes that breathe new life into areas while providing much-needed affordable housing and high-quality private rented sector accommodation. Look, for example, at Hallsville Quarter – the major project we are developing at Canning Town – or the Creative Ice House Quarter, part of the regeneration of Barking town centre. These are sustainable, practical, attractive developments that integrate with existing buildings and create places where people want to live, work or spend time. Projects like these, that deliver real benefits for local people, are what motivate us; not building schemes of luxury apartments where the lights are off and no-one’s home because the majority of the units have been bought by investors as a hedge against inflation.
With more than 15 projects in the pipeline across the UK, working with communities isn’t always easy. Development brings change and change can sometimes be unsettling. But by involving local residents from the outset, listening and working through their concerns, and by acting in true partnership with local authorities, we aim to deliver projects that the whole community supports. Coupled with CSR activities that see our staff giving time and money to local good causes, we believe in developing with communities and for communities and look forward to continuing to do so in 2015 and beyond.
Tags: Bouygues Development, Nicola Guerin