Innovations - Public-private deal guarantees success
National regeneration agency English Partnerships, working with partners in the North-West, has developed a new way of securing mixed-tenure housing and private sector investment in an area with housing market decline. A scheme for a site in Hattersley in Greater Manchester involved EP agreeing to pay a minimum price for a 25ha site owned by Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, which it guaranteed to pay if private developers did not step in. This enabled the transfer of nearby social housing stock to Peak Valley Housing Association to go ahead. The council has now had bids from six developers and is close to agreeing a deal with one. Paul Spooner, EP regional director for the North-West and West Midlands, answers our panel's questions.