Interview: Jeremy Pilgrim

Thu 15th January 2015, 6:01 pm

The Sitematch London team catches up with Jeremy Pilgrim, Southwark's head of property, to discuss how Sitematch has benefited his borough.

Jeremy Pilgrim (right) at Sitematch London 2014

What are your reasons for attending Sitematch events, and what do you generally get out of them?

Attending Sitematch London allows us to talk about regeneration opportunities with developers, as well as discuss our general planning policies. Speaking with private sector delegates also helps us to discover what type of schemes they are considering in the borough. We already work a lot with developers but find that a different forum in which to meet them has its own benefits – and having been a supporter from the beginning, we think Sitematch has excellent future potential.

What are the main challenges for local authority asset managers to get surplus land sold or developed?

Southwark does not have much in the way of surplus land because most of its owned sites are earmarked for direct delivery council housing. We are keen to engage developers and finders on how some of this housing development is to be delivered and Sitematch provides an opportunity to do just that. For other authorities, it may be more a question of raising their profile with the development industry.

Are there any opportunities in the pipeline for Southwark developers should be looking out for?

We are looking at the provision of 1,500 new council homes by 2018 with a total of 11,000 by 2035, so we are keen to explore all options to make this happen. There will be opportunities for new development, especially in the Peckham area where we’ve adopted a new planning framework.

Does Southwark’s central London location bring any challenges – or benefits – that are different for local authority asset managers working outside of London?

Land in Southwark is very expensive and availability is scarce because of the central London location. The demand for both private and affordable housing only adds to the challenge.

Jeremy Pilgrim will attend the next Sitematch London event on 10 February 2015. To secure your meeting with him or 34 other public sector organisations contact Sophie Gosling on 020 7978 6840, or by emailing sophie@3foxinternational.com.

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