Interview: Rob Fraser at Brighton and Hove Council
Mon 9th February 2015, 2:21 pm
Brighton & Hove City Council's head of planning strategy, Rob Fraser, speaks exclusively to 3Fox International, publisher of Superfused, the regeneration magazine for the Greater Brighton City Region and organiser of the Sitematch property event, about his work in the city
Which projects are you most proud of being involved in?
The Jubilee Street area and Jubilee Library – which was shortlisted for the Sterling Prize – which involved working with a wonderful architectural team and colleagues at the city council to develop on a site that had been used as a surface car park for 25 years. It is now the heart of our cultural quarter and thriving. The project was exciting, challenging and great fun.
What was your first impression of Brighton when you started out working there?
The easy access to London, the fantastic quality of the heritage buildings, the energy of a modern city contrasting with the open and quiet South Downs, which was very accessible by bus, cycle or a short walk. That impression hasn’t changed.
What things have surprised you about working in the city?
The power and strength of the partnerships. These are genuinely engaged groups from businesses, the public sector developers (such as health and the universities) and the voluntary sector, working to deliver key priorities for the city. Their energy and commitment is really inspiring.
What makes developers good partners?
Their ability to deliver infrastructure that we all need, but with the added inspiration and inventiveness that makes each development unique and a special contribution to the city.
If you could change one thing about working in Brighton, what would it be?
Breaking down the perceived barriers between the private sector, the voluntary sector and the public sector – they don’t exist. They are in the minds of people who cannot see the common interest.
Which three people have inspired you the most – either at work or in your personal life?
It has to be the Queen’s Scout candidates in the Scout group I help out with. We were in the middle of a 100 mile hike, it had rained all day, we were all feeling miserable and tired, when we heard this group singing as they approached a campsite, facing a wet night with wet sleeping bags. They supported each other through the low points of a tough expedition. It was the most inspiring teamwork I have seen. It is good to be part of a group with that level of enthusiasm and drive. I wish I could tap into some of that energy too!
Click here to read Superfused's interview with Scott Marshall at Adur and Worthing Council.