23 December 2019

Shulmans joins ‘Future of Housing’ discussion

Head of Residential Development, Rosemary Edwards recently appeared as a panellist at the Insider Yorkshire Future of Housing Breakfast. The event focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the Yorkshire housing market and brought together eight experts across two panels to discuss the region’s response.

The first panel focused on the kinds of homes people want and joining Rosemary Edwards in the discussion was Max Reeves, Development Director at Helmsley Group, Sian Grindley Senior Land Manager at Yorkshire Housing and Neil Evans, Director of Resources and Housing at Leeds City Council.

As well as the much-discussed demand for affordable family homes, the panel considered how demographic changes are fuelling the need for developments that can meet the requirements of communities made up of both young professionals and retired people. One possible answer to this need could be “adaptable” housing stock, which can be altered in the future to create “lifetime” homes. However, the speakers identified planning restrictions, funding and construction skills shortages as challenges facing the sector.

Responding to an audience question from Shulmans’ Head of Planning, Amanda Beresford, the panel suggested that changing government policy on the distribution of funds for housing could help to resolve some of these issues.

The debate then turned to the methods used to build new homes and was made up of the following speakers: Derek Whitehead, Principal at Leeds College of Building, Group Master Planning Director, Kevin Parker from Redrow, Guy Ackernley, Residential Director at Urban Splash and Kevin Pratt, Director and Passivhaus specialist at Purehaus.

Sustainable development was a key concern, both looking at ways of making the construction process more climate-friendly as well as creating energy efficient buildings. The panellists discussed the recent increase in modular construction as well as the need to redevelop existing buildings to minimise the environmental impact of housebuilding.

This was the second year that Shulmans was a headline sponsor of the ‘Future of Housing’ event. This year the discussion once again highlighted the growing significance of alternative housebuilding methods, such as modular housing, for addressing demand in region.

The debate was held in front of an audience of around 100 sector leaders and decision makers and was brought together by Yorkshire Business Insider.

You can read the full coverage here.