Second Sitematch London event judged a success
Wed 7th November 2012, 4:06 pm
Developers and occupiers swapped numbers to arrange second dates with councils and other public sector landowners in London at an event designed to make introductions and unlock development sites in the capital.
The Sitematch London event on 6 November at London's City Hall took the form of a speed-dating event, with 399 15-minute meetings arranged to discuss over 800ha of sites in the capital.
More than 60 developers met with 87 officers from 24 councils, plus the GLA, four NHS Trusts, the new NHS Property Services company and consultees on planning applications.
David Lunts, executive director of housing and land at the GLA, opened the event by welcoming attendees who had travelled from as far as Nottingham and even Norway for the event.
Lunts praised the value of the Sitematch initiative and pledged to encourage other members of the GLA family, including Transport for London, to bring forward sites for the next Sitematch London event, which is being held in March.
Brendon Walsh, head of regeneration and economic development at Hounslow Council, one of the founders of the event, added: "When we dreamt this event up, little did we realise how much response it would get from the development community in London. The success of the last event and the numbers of you gathered here today is testament to the fact that Sitematch London meets a previously unmet need."
Representatives from the Sitematch London team met with London mayor Boris Johnson, who has backed the initiative, to briefly discuss the event.
Toby Fox, managing director of organiser 3Fox International, said: "We’ve had terrific feedback from the second Sitematch event as well as some really exciting ideas for taking the programme forward and bringing developers, occupiers and investors together with public sector landowners in new ways to discuss development opportunities of all kinds.
The event was the second to be held, following the inaugural day at the same venue in March, after which a number of successful relationships were formed and deals signed.
A further Sitematch event is planned for 7 March 2013, in London, a week before the MIPIM international property conference in France.
Each Sitematch London event works in a "speed dating" format, featuring a desk for each participating public sector landowner, staffed by a senior member of the regeneration, estates or planning team often alongside an advisor appointed by Sitematch London.
Developers pre-book up to five 15-minute meetings with councils to discuss the sites in which they are most interested, other development opportunities or planning issues.
Each council has 18 meeting slots during the day, which are allocated to developers on a first come, first served basis.
Landowners are available to discuss sites specified by developers, or those selected from a list of more than 160 on the Sitematch London website.
The website also contains details of community infrastructure levy rates, planning performance statistics and key contact details for participating councils - available to members.