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Urban Regeneration Consultants

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26th April 2018 
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Key Issues Arising in Urban Regeneration Projects


  • Land Assembly – whereby parcels of land for the project are in different ownerships and landholders do not wish to release the land or have unrealistic expectations about its present or future value. This may also include the need for the acquisition of adjacent sites, which would otherwise have uses incompatible with the project.

  • Contamination - many regeneration projects involve the redevelopment of industrial sites, which almost invariably means that land has been contaminated to a greater or lesser extent by the processes that formerly took place in the factories or plant located there or beneath the ground in the case of mining or similar activities.

  • Abnormal Costs – arising from the need to deal with unusual ground conditions (including the need for decontamination), to install or improve extensive infrastructure/services and the additional costs of creating a secure and attractive environment above that which would be necessary in an established and economically thriving location.

  • Market Inefficiencies - whereby, because regeneration tends to be focused on areas of economic and social deprivation, there may be weak demand, or ossibly no discernible demand, for certain types of property or facility. Commercial or retail space or supply of services may command lower rentals or prices than in establishd markets and may only mature over the long term, yielding values that are lower than development costs.

  • Conflicting Stakeholder Interests – whereby the project definition, including detail of design and specification of the various elements, has to accommodate a wide range of community, social, environmental and commercial interests.

  • Listed Buildings/Structures – whereby buildings and structures have to be restored rather than demolished because of their listing and where special skills and crafts have to be brought in to carry out the work.

  • High Risks – whereby, apart from normal development and construction risks, the project developers and contractors may have to manage development in an already densely populated location that may be congested, offers restricted site access, limits hours of working, requires harmonisation with surrounding existing development, where skilled labour is scarce and compatible materials hard to source.

  • Phasing – whereby, although a critical mass is required in order afford the project reasonable prospects of success (in the sense of creating demand for the various land uses that may be contained within the project), the phasing must be such that stakeholders are exposed to the minimum levels of risk at any point in time and the early projects represent the catalysts to the later projects.

  • Innovative Funding Mechanisms – whereby because the nature of regeneration projects requires a long-term perspective, equity and loan funders have to be persuaded to accept low returns (if any) in the early years of a project and to devise methods of funding that offer reasonable security and well as prospects for improving returns once the project is established.

    It should be noted that effective solutions to issues of this type requires input from the entire project team rather than any one particular discipline and the resulting strategies need to be adopted by all parties. Appreciating this, Cedar Global / TPLA is able to facilitate and help manage this process where it is a member of the project team or it has been specifically commissioned as the regeneration consultant. It is also able to assess progress on project delivery vis a vis such issues where it has been commissioned to act as assessor or monitor for funders or other interested parties.


  • Advice on the Issues

    Strategic and Framework Studies
    Market and Financial Feasibility Studies
    Appraisals
    Assessment and Monitoring


    Strategic and Framework Studies

    Cedar Global / TPLA offers a range of services to national and regional government, local authorities and corporations seeking to identify opportunities for developing their landholdings.

    Cedar Global / TPLA has particular knowledge of the leisure, tourism and cultural industries sectors and will work alongside other sector specialists and/or other building professionals in order to devise development solutions that maximise land values and regeneration outputs.

    Services offered include:

    • Development options studies and residual land valuations.
    • Development procurement strategy and advice on partnership arrangements.
    • Landholdings, buildings and accommodation reviews and advice on acquisitions and disposals strategy
    • Expert advice in support of representations made in CPOs, planning inquiries and land valuation tribunals.
    • Economic impact studies of projects and development policies.
    Market and Financial Feasibility Studies

    Cedar Global / TPLA will undertake independent studies to establish whether investment in a proposed project is supportable in the context of its commercial returns or offers value for money from the perspective of the public sector.

    Services offered include:

    • Market studies and projections of operational revenues.
    • Estimation of construction and related project costs.
    • Preparation of business cases for public private partnerships, grant aid and funding applications generally.
    • Investment analysis and advice on development and funding strategies.
    • Advice on Section 106/278 obligations and other terms and conditions of planning and public assistance.
    Appraisals

    Public funders, such as development agencies and grant aiding bodies, charities and financial institutions considering an application for funding, often require an independent appraisal of studies carried out by third parties before making an in-principle commitment.

    Services offered include:

    • Due diligence investigations, cost/benefit analysis and grant aid appraisals.
    • Assessment of value for money and regeneration outputs and benefits.
    • Risk assessment and advice on management funds
    Assessment and Monitoring

    Cedar Global / TPLA offers a range of review services that cover each stage of the development of a project. Commissioners of such reviews, typically commercial funders, insurers, government departments and public sector funding agencies, will normally establish specific terms of reference appropriate to the circumstances of the project. In general, Cedar Global / TPLA sees its role as one of overseeing their investment, protecting their exposure to risk and helping to ensure that the project is delivered to specification and achieves the expected outputs.

    Cedar Global / TPLA recognises the particular requirements of public sector agencies with regard to financial probity, public accountability, the additionality rules and the need to secure value for money in relation to partnership and grant funding of regeneration projects.

    Whilst the prime responsibility for project management is with the developer and its consultants, Cedar Global / TPLA approaches review assignments constructively. All review assignments culminate in formal reports that set out findings objectively and, where necessary, provide unequivocal recommendations on corrective action for consideration by both commissioners and project management.

    Reviews may be applied to the whole or selected aspects of each stage of a project.Ideally they should be directed at areas of concern or those which are thought to be vulnerable, ensuring that key issues are identified and addressed, disruption to development is minimised and costs of the review are contained. Principle areas covered are:

    Design and Cost Estimates
    Management and Procurement
    Construction
    Post Completion


    Design and Cost Estimates

    Review services offered covering various stages of the design process include assessments and monitoring of:

    • Procurement of design team.
    • Functionality and fitness for purpose of design in relation to strategic studies, needs assessments, feasibility studies, business plans and the design brief.
    • Compliance of architectural and engineering designs and specifications with statutory obligations, best practice in regeneration, environmental standards and access, health and safety and fire regulations.
    • Value engineering processes and selection of preferred design and specification options in relation to life cycle costing.
    • Achievability of design and construction programmes.
    • Delivery of design information in relation to programme.
    • Achievability of design and construction programmes.
    • Robustness of the cost plan, identification of abnormal costs and application of design contingencies and other general cost allowances.
    • Identification of design and construction related risks and their potential cost impacts.
    • Value for money of the project as a whole or of individual features.
    • Design and specification revisions following tender.
    Management and Procurement

    Review services offered in connection with the management and procurement of a project include assessments and monitoring of:

    • Practicability of partnership arrangements, organisational structures and project management procedures.
    • Appropriateness of proposed procurement strategies for consultants, contractors and sub-contractors.
    • Consistency and comprehensiveness of tender documentation.
    • Compliance of selection procedures with statutory obligations and justification for selection decisions.
    • Fairness and practicability of contractual arrangements between the various parties in the context of risk.
    • Compliance of contractual arrangements with terms and conditions of partnership and funding agreements.
    • Adequacy of commercial arrangements with regard to matters such as insurance cover, bonds, warranties and guarantees.
    Construction

    Review services offered covering the construction phase of a project include assessments and monitoring of:

    • Construction methodology, quality assurance and health and safety.

    • Compliance of engineering and building work with design and quality specifications.
    • Completion of work in accordance with construction programme.
    • Effectiveness of performance of consultants and supervision of construction work.
    • Justification for variations to design and specification.
    • Application of construction contingencies and general allowances.
    • Verification of reports on progress, including estimates of time and costs to completion.
    • Reasonableness of valuation certificates and applications for funding drawdown.
    • Investigation of actual or potential problems affecting delivery of the project and suitability of proposed corrective action.
    • Implications for development and operations of construction delays or cost revisions.
    • Defects identification and clearance.
    • Final account settlement and justification for claims both by and against contractors.
    Post Completion

    Review services offered covering the post-completion phase include assessments and evaluation of:

    • The effectiveness of policies and procedures applied in the design, management and procurement and construction phases of the project.
    • Technical audit of costs.
    • Functionality and fitness for purpose of the project in use.
    • Cost of the project in use and its value for money.
    • Achievement of the financial, economic and regeneration goals of the project from the perspective of the stakeholder groups.
    • Outcomes and impact of the regeneration outputs on the business and residential communities affected by the project.

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