Interview: Eric Pickles at Sitematch

Thu 12th February 2015, 4:10 pm

After addressing delegates at Sitematch London, the RT Hon Eric Pickles found a bit of time in his busy schedule to answer a few questions for the Sitematch London team.

Why did you feel it is important to attend Sitematch London?

We are looking to match developers with brownfield sites, which are often owned by the public sector, mostly local authorities. Events like Sitematch really help because it stimulates contact between local authorities, developers and government to ultimately speed up development of these brownfield sites.

What makes Sitematch special when it comes to speeding up development?

Sitematch cuts out the middle man, allowing the process of taking projects to the tendering stage to move significantly faster. At Sitematch, you have chat with somebody for 15 minutes and if it does not go anywhere, you move on to the next one.

What should the private sector be doing to speed up development?

The best developers out there are good at communicating their plans: not just to colleagues or local authorities, but also to the neighbourhoods and communities that are a part of their projects. Sometimes people have the wrong ideas of what a developer is trying to achieve, and clear communications will make the process so much easier.

What would you like to say to public sector organisations that are not at Sitematch today?

Don’t be so stuffy! Get in touch with your inner romantic; it is a great opportunity to discuss development opportunities. Both developers and public will appreciate the pro-active approach because it will lead to more brownfield sites being unlocked and more new homes built.  

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