Interview: Aktar Choudhury at Brent Council
Fri 23rd January 2015, 11:32 am
In an exclusive interview with Sitematch, operational director for planning and regeneration, Aktar Choudhury, talks about his work in the London Borough of Brent.
Which projects are you most proud of being involved in?
Delivering the new Brent Civic Centre has been a fantastic experience. Consolidating the council’s workforce into a single, multi-purpose, intelligent, well-designed building has really impacted – not only on staff – but on the community, breathing new life into the Wembley regeneration area. The project is a great example of how direct investment by a local authority can be a catalyst to regeneration.
What three developments or enhancements would most benefit Brent?
Wembley Central becoming a stop on the proposed Crossrail line from Old Oak Common.
Greater knowledge among the development industry about the fantastic opportunities in our growth areas.
More genuine affordable housing products to meet the needs of our residents.
What was your first impression of Brent when you started out working there?
How diverse the population of the borough is and how well this is reflected in our workforce.
What things have surprised you about working in the borough?
The huge and largely untapped potential to create some amazing places, such as the stretch of the Grand Union Canal that runs through Alperton. That is currently an undervalued asset that could provide a fantastic setting for new homes and commercial space, as well as attractive open spaces for residents and wildlife.
Also, the strategic role of Park Royal in terms of the influence and importance it has in the wider London context, providing a vast and diverse range of jobs and essential services so close to the centre of the city.
What makes developers good partners?
Developers who view their role as place makers, those who are willing to commit to a site or area for the long-term, wider gain of the locality, and those who are willing to have an open and honest ongoing dialogue with the local authority to implement sustainable projects that enhance people's lives.
For more exclusive interviews with senior officers and councillors from London's local authority's, visit the borough profiles on the Sitematch London website.
Brent Council will attend the upcoming Sitematch London event on 10 February 2015. To secure your place contact Sophie Gosling on 020 7978 6840, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.