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Major players feature on brownf ield site upgrades

NEWS - Contractors and developers picked to contribute to English Partnerships strategy

ENGLISH Partnerships has chosen a team of 22 contractors and developers, including Amec, Taylor Woodrow and Kier, to help bring the country's brownfield sites back into use.

The panel was selected in a competition run by regeneration agency English Partnerships as part of its National Brownfield Strategy. The scheme is jointly led by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

The firms will now work with English Partnerships, 14 local authorities, communities and businesses to identify and assess a selection of pilot sites that will be selected for developments ranging from housing to open spaces.

In exchange for their input and expertise, the panel will be able to put forward development ideas for the sites.

Professor Paul Syms, national brownfield strategy director for English Partnerships, said: 'We wanted to get those involved in brownfield sites around the table rather than have the usual confrontation of the developer versus the planner. We advertised in the Official Journal and had 125 expressions of interest.

'Following that we had around 45 compliant submissions which were mostly good or excellent. Only four or five didn't come up to the mark.

'We then interviewed for the regional panels as the national panel was pretty clear cut.

'These developers will now play a major role in helping local authorities and local people transform some of the country's worst eyesores. We will identify the barriers and solutions to reclaiming derelict land and develop ways that it can be successfully regenerated while taking account of local community wishes.'