11 November 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Commercial property development could add from £15 to £20 billion into the community in which it is sited, suggests research by the British Council of Offices (BCO).
How? Through Section 106 agreements – part of the Town and Country Planning Act associated with financial contributions made to mitigate the detrimental effects of a commercial development on the local community.
According to a BCO report, s106 could be the start of how a development puts back into the community within which it sits.
The research, in partnership with Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets and the Social Value Portal, claims that social value could be created at every stage of a building’s life cycle, and that building managers could play a significant part in this. Building managers, the report suggests, could focus on local sourcing, community employment and engagement programmes for their development.
But the main opportunity resides in the way building managers are able to support occupiers in building relationships with local communities.
Debbie Hobbs, head of sustainability at LGIM Real Assets, said: “In the current context of diminishing local government grants, striving to unlock greater social value from development is a very important consideration. Collaboration is key to realising this unique opportunity, and can be a prosperous route to making public sector budgets go further and for those involved in development to make a greater contribution to the environments in which they operate.”