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Millennium Communities

URBAN REGENERATION

NEXT week's conference in Manchester will give another boost to English Partnerships'Millennium Communities programme.The scheme involves developers building seven exemplar communities in Greenwich, Manchester, Kings Lynn, Allerton Bywater (Leeds), Milton Keynes, East Ketley and Hastings utilising the best in design and sustainable construction.

While Mr Carr describes the communities as the thing he is perhaps most proud of in his job, he also admits it has not been without its problems.

'These are complicated sites with complicated planning histories, ' he says.'Some are sites that English Partnerships owns but others are totally owned by the private sector.The one that has been very slow to get off the ground and continues to cause concern is King's Lynn.

We have no land interest there - it is in the hands of the private sector.'

But he says that English Partnerships has managed to turn around delays on other communities, such as at Allerton Bywater, where locals had originally protested against the development.

'Through a community engagement process they are now actively pursuing the scheme and are keen to know when it will start, ' he says.

So if the Millennium Communities are just beginning to take off, can we expect any more of them in the future?

'I don't think we will see anything else branded as a Millennium Community but I expect the work we have done to influence the way communities are built in the future.

'A lot of the experiences we have been through are starting to get in to the mainstream Government agenda such as the building regulations, 'Mr Carr says.

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