Urban Edge Architecture

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Urban Edge Architecture's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Urban Edge Architecture is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.urbanedgearchitecture.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
50 | KRT ASSOCIATES
base, which ranges from individuals to
prominent plc developers, and because
of our ability to work throughout
the UK. Hence, we never succumbed
to specific regional issues and have
developed astute planning skills as a
result of the wide range of experiences
our 30 years in business have
broughtabout.
New legislation, both in planning and
technical requirements, is constantly
being introduced and it is vital that
we keep up to date with the current
regulation in order to stay ahead.
We do so by working with regular
informants and running continuing
professional development seminars,
which provide both management and
our employees with the key knowledge
they need.
Car parking standards are regularly
revised by different local planning
authorities, but they are often
inconsistent and not properly tested
before becoming policy compliant,
which results in design inefficiency.
National minimum room sizes are
also causing issues with clients’
deliverability of entry-level housing
as it inherently increases costs,
especially for first-time buyers.
Planning resourcing is also an
issue, with planning officers lacking
the appropriate funds, as well as
a reduction in the continuity of
officers working on the same project.
Therefore, obtaining planning
consents also proves challenging
because of understaffing, which
results in the same schemes
being delayed and consequently
hinderingdeliverability.
The introduction of PPA agreements
has created a two-tier planning
system, in that larger developers, albeit
reluctantly, face the consequences
of smaller developers having their
applications delayed.
We have recently been approached
by consultants in Cyprus to assess
and provide technical drawings to
gain premier guarantees, which is
progressing well. The future looks set
to be a challenging but interesting
time in equal measure. We will
probably have to face some unforeseen
circumstances, but we are confident
that by maintaining our work ethic and
being proactive in our sector, we will
continue to succeed and grow steadily
and confidently.
We are
confident that
by maintaining
our work ethic
and being
proactive in
our sector, we
will continue
to succeed
and grow
steadily and
confidently
Contemporary designed
bespoke properties in
Milton Keynes
51URBAN EDGE ARCHITECTURE |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Director Russell Gay
UEA’s redevelopment of an existing shop
terrace updates the facade, reconfigures the
DFS unit and amends the parking layout
Founded in 2007, Urban Edge Architecture specialises in UK-
based urban regeneration initiatives. Land is a finite resource,
and this is why Urban Edge focuses on redeveloping
underperforming sites to get the most value out of existing
town and city spaces. Over the past decade, it has grown from a
handful of employees to a team approaching 50 with a portfolio
of retail, specialist residential and leisure developments. In
recent years, the practice has been much sought-after by
developers and property owners looking to repurpose retail
assets, and its influence in the senior living sector has continued
to grow. Director Russell Gay tells the
Review
more.
Urban Edge Architecture has a diverse portfolio of project work across a wide range
of sectors, including residential, retail, leisure and senior living, and is recognised
as one of the UK’s out-of-town retail specialists. Of course, recent years have
proved challenging for the retail sector, but we firmly believe that change brings
opportunity, and we still find ourselves called upon to provide innovative solutions
for our retail property clients. We have seen our influence growing, particularly in
the senior living sector, with our experts invited to speak at a number of leading
conferences and contributing to several influential publications.
An inclusive and supportive working environment
Established in Stamford in 2007, Urban Edge Architecture has seen an average
growth of 16 per cent year on year since our formation and we have a strategy
and vision to continue this trend. In 2018, we expanded our workforce by a further
FACTS ABOUT
URBAN EDGE ARCHITECTURE
»Directors: Russell Gay, Julie
Gay, Tom McNamara
»Founded in 2007
»Based in Stamford,
Lincolnshire
»Services: Retail, retirement
living and landscape
»No. of employees: 50
Urban Edge
Architecture
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
52 | URBAN EDGE ARCHITECTURE
25per cent and revenue was up
despite the tough economic climate.
Our success is down to the fact that,
as we’ve grown, we have continued
to apply the same rules as we did
when we were a small business.
The same three people who started
the business are still here and I and
the other founding directors remain
very hands on. We have also created
an inclusive and supportive place
to work, evidenced in the longevity
of service and commitment to the
business by our employees. We are
equally committed to enhancing the
skills of the future workforce and,
last year, we refreshed our student-
training programme, now branded
the Urban Edge Academy, to support
our architectural interns. In 2015, we
formed a charity foundation to raise
funds and awareness for established
charities such as The Alzheimer’s
Society and Prostate Cancer UK. The
Urban Edge Foundation has since gone
on to raise over £50,000.
A high street repurposed for
the future
Urban Edge Architecture acts for
financial institutions, investment funds,
developers and operators on projects
throughout the UK. We have overseen
the design and delivery of numerous
high-profile projects with recent
highlights including the completion of
prime mixed-use developments and
retirement villages and several major
retail and leisure destinations.
As the crisis enveloping the high street
has grown, our skills have become
much sought-after by developers and
property owners looking to repurpose
retail assets. The perfect storm of
high business rates, lack of consumer
confidence and the exponential
growth of ecommerce has already
seen the likes of Toys R Us and House
of Fraser fall into administration,
while the companies such as Marks
& Spencer and Debenhams have all
announced significant programmes
of store closures. Reforms to business
rates may offer some relief to smaller
retailers, but for large high street
retail chains the changes offer little
additional comfort. We have been
urging retail property owners to
forward plan to minimise the possible
impact on their assets as much as
possible. At Urban Edge we believe
there are still plenty of opportunities
for physical retail to prosper – it’s
just a case of landlords thinking
differently about the spaces they own,
especially the opportunities to be had
in converting or redeveloping existing
assets into alternative uses.
We have been working with forward-
thinking owners and developers to
adapt their existing assets for a good
number of years, using our experience
and technical know-how to make
the appropriate decisions for each
scheme. A good example can be
seen at Highcross in Leicester where,
following the closure of the House of
Fraser store in July 2017, we worked
with Hammerson to develop proposals
for the subdivision and remodelling
of the vacated four-storey retail unit,
reactivating high street façades and
creating new revenue streams for
the client from areas of the building
considered to be “dead space”. Our
experience on this and other such
Plymouth is the third
new store UEA has
completed for Next,
after successful projects
at Edinburgh and Hanley
As the crisis
enveloping
the high street
has grown,
our skills have
become much
sought-after
by developers
and property
owners
looking to
repurpose
retail assets
53URBAN EDGE ARCHITECTURE |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
projects has now led us to examine
similar schemes for clients and look
at repurposing existing units for other
complementary uses such as offices,
hotels or even retirement housing.
Mixed use, multigenerational
living
It is in the latter regard, retirement
housing, where we are really pushing
the barriers.
As architects, we see at first hand
that high-quality, innovative design is
crucial to attract people 65 years and
over. Yet when it comes to housing
provision, the new generation of
senior citizens, the baby boomers
who grew up in the 1960s, represents
an increasingly unsatisfied market.
They are interested in moving to a
home, including retirement living
and care schemes, that better meets
their lifestyle aspirations, yet are often
disappointed by the lack of variety that
later-life housing has to offer. Older
people are increasingly demanding
the opportunity to engage in the
social and economic life of the wider
community. They want to live in urban
and suburban areas and continue
to lead an independent lifestyle,
while maintaining and building new
friendships. We believe that senior
living needs to be provided within our
towns andcities and we are working
on schemes with developers and
operators that actively encourage social
connection through the provision of
shared and social spaces.
We want to create developments
where young and old can live side by
side, both benefiting from the social,
cultural and economic opportunities of
a multigenerational community. This
need for mixed-use developments,
with care, senior living, retail and
leisure on offer, is not only occupier
driven.Urban and suburban retailers,
through upgrading their offer in
mixed-use schemes, can compete with
large shopping destinations. Older
residents can play an integral economic
and social role in the wider national
interest. They represent a new cohort
of consumers – the grey pound –
which is forecast to grow by 81 per
cent by 2030. With the extremely
high land values in cities, the creation
of mixed-use developments not only
answers the demands of modern
living but also creates better funding
opportunities. We believe mixed-use
schemes are key to the creation of
a diverse and sustainable urban and
suburban economy, providing activity,
employment opportunities and vibrant
public spac es.
We believe that
senior living
needs to be
provided within
our towns and
cities and we
are working on
schemes that
actively
encourage
social
connection
through shared
and social
spaces
UEA delivered this
state-of-the-art £42
million retirement village
on the outskirts of
Southampton
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
52 | URBAN EDGE ARCHITECTURE
25per cent and revenue was up
despite the tough economic climate.
Our success is down to the fact that,
as we’ve grown, we have continued
to apply the same rules as we did
when we were a small business.
The same three people who started
the business are still here and I and
the other founding directors remain
very hands on. We have also created
an inclusive and supportive place
to work, evidenced in the longevity
of service and commitment to the
business by our employees. We are
equally committed to enhancing the
skills of the future workforce and,
last year, we refreshed our student-
training programme, now branded
the Urban Edge Academy, to support
our architectural interns. In 2015, we
formed a charity foundation to raise
funds and awareness for established
charities such as The Alzheimer’s
Society and Prostate Cancer UK. The
Urban Edge Foundation has since gone
on to raise over £50,000.
A high street repurposed for
the future
Urban Edge Architecture acts for
financial institutions, investment funds,
developers and operators on projects
throughout the UK. We have overseen
the design and delivery of numerous
high-profile projects with recent
highlights including the completion of
prime mixed-use developments and
retirement villages and several major
retail and leisure destinations.
As the crisis enveloping the high street
has grown, our skills have become
much sought-after by developers and
property owners looking to repurpose
retail assets. The perfect storm of
high business rates, lack of consumer
confidence and the exponential
growth of ecommerce has already
seen the likes of Toys R Us and House
of Fraser fall into administration,
while the companies such as Marks
& Spencer and Debenhams have all
announced significant programmes
of store closures. Reforms to business
rates may offer some relief to smaller
retailers, but for large high street
retail chains the changes offer little
additional comfort. We have been
urging retail property owners to
forward plan to minimise the possible
impact on their assets as much as
possible. At Urban Edge we believe
there are still plenty of opportunities
for physical retail to prosper – it’s
just a case of landlords thinking
differently about the spaces they own,
especially the opportunities to be had
in converting or redeveloping existing
assets into alternative uses.
We have been working with forward-
thinking owners and developers to
adapt their existing assets for a good
number of years, using our experience
and technical know-how to make
the appropriate decisions for each
scheme. A good example can be
seen at Highcross in Leicester where,
following the closure of the House of
Fraser store in July 2017, we worked
with Hammerson to develop proposals
for the subdivision and remodelling
of the vacated four-storey retail unit,
reactivating high street façades and
creating new revenue streams for
the client from areas of the building
considered to be “dead space”. Our
experience on this and other such
Plymouth is the third
new store UEA has
completed for Next,
after successful projects
at Edinburgh and Hanley
As the crisis
enveloping
the high street
has grown,
our skills have
become much
sought-after
by developers
and property
owners
looking to
repurpose
retail assets
53URBAN EDGE ARCHITECTURE |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
projects has now led us to examine
similar schemes for clients and look
at repurposing existing units for other
complementary uses such as offices,
hotels or even retirement housing.
Mixed use, multigenerational
living
It is in the latter regard, retirement
housing, where we are really pushing
the barriers.
As architects, we see at first hand
that high-quality, innovative design is
crucial to attract people 65 years and
over. Yet when it comes to housing
provision, the new generation of
senior citizens, the baby boomers
who grew up in the 1960s, represents
an increasingly unsatisfied market.
They are interested in moving to a
home, including retirement living
and care schemes, that better meets
their lifestyle aspirations, yet are often
disappointed by the lack of variety that
later-life housing has to offer. Older
people are increasingly demanding
the opportunity to engage in the
social and economic life of the wider
community. They want to live in urban
and suburban areas and continue
to lead an independent lifestyle,
while maintaining and building new
friendships. We believe that senior
living needs to be provided within our
towns andcities and we are working
on schemes with developers and
operators that actively encourage social
connection through the provision of
shared and social spaces.
We want to create developments
where young and old can live side by
side, both benefiting from the social,
cultural and economic opportunities of
a multigenerational community. This
need for mixed-use developments,
with care, senior living, retail and
leisure on offer, is not only occupier
driven.Urban and suburban retailers,
through upgrading their offer in
mixed-use schemes, can compete with
large shopping destinations. Older
residents can play an integral economic
and social role in the wider national
interest. They represent a new cohort
of consumers – the grey pound –
which is forecast to grow by 81 per
cent by 2030. With the extremely
high land values in cities, the creation
of mixed-use developments not only
answers the demands of modern
living but also creates better funding
opportunities. We believe mixed-use
schemes are key to the creation of
a diverse and sustainable urban and
suburban economy, providing activity,
employment opportunities and vibrant
public spac es.
We believe that
senior living
needs to be
provided within
our towns and
cities and we
are working on
schemes that
actively
encourage
social
connection
through shared
and social
spaces
UEA delivered this
state-of-the-art £42
million retirement village
on the outskirts of
Southampton

www.urbanedgearchitecture.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster