“Critics round on No 10 over ‘ridiculous’ rules for 14-day quarantine”
I have yet to see any mention of the effect a quarantine regime will have on businesses outside the “travel and tourism” sectors.
While it is obvious that those sectors will suffer, there are many other businesses, such as Zetland, our student accommodation in Huddersfield, which will suffer from additional barriers on a market already under severe pressure.
The central problem is the lack of clarity around the effectiveness of the quarantine strategy. It has already become apparent that people under quarantine restrictions will be allowed to use public transport to get to their ultimate destination, and then be allowed to go out to shop and fulfil legal obligations. So how effective will it be?
My personal view is influenced by our position of course. I try to be as impartial as possible but I can’t get past the argument that if the general public are obeying goslings and exercising good social distancing, and in particular if those inbound passengers were compelled to use the ‘test and trace’ app, then they actually represent very little additional risk.
“We can’t yet say what’s on offer in September, UK universities tell freshers”
If you UK universities still can’t say what they’re going to do for 2020/21, it’s unreasonable to expect our potential tenants to make solid commitments.
For the moment, while we continue to receive enquiries, we are finding students cannot be certain about the dates they’ll need accommodation, and are reluctant to commit.
Fair enough. These are very difficult times for most, of course, but particularly sectors at all connected with education, and in particular, tertiary education. We feel the best thing we can do is be accommodating and patient.
In a potentially landmark decision, the Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building was awarded to the Goldsmith Street social housing development in Norwich.
Not only is it the first time the award has been given to social housing, it marks a significant change in focus for the jury. Last year’s award went to the £1.3bn Bloomberg headquarters for being the most sustainable office building ever conceived – despite importing 600 tonnes of Bronze from Japan and granite from India.
The hope has to be that this award will help shape the direction of housing provision to come. The design is led strongly by social efficacy as well as environmental efficiency. Houses have doorways facing each other, encouraging social interaction, there are communal as well as private play areas and social spaces, and at the front, the design of the street has cars very much secondary to prioritising the movement and interaction of people.
When I’ve seen the new residents interviewed on the news, the response has been overwhelmingly very positive – many people just couldn’t see themselves ever moving out. Now that is an enviable level of satisfaction. Let’s have lots more.
Now – in a personal postscript to this – I have long been espousing the value of great social design in co-living spaces but actually, we have a potential project which we’re looking to bring to fruition next year, in which we had already identified the great value in creating a ‘street’ feeling for a group of holiday cottages and serviced accommodation apartments. Although the ‘street’ will always remain a right of way, the majority of the time vehicles will not be allowed anywhere. We want to encourage the feeling of ‘ownership’ of that area, by the people who are staying there, enabling parents to comfortably allow their children to play with each other outside.
This project is incredibly ambitious and we hope to be able to let you begin to see into it very soon. Fingers crossed!