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Norris calls on HCA to outline priorities

Former London mayoral candidate Steve Norris has called on the Homes and Communities Agency to formally outline its development priorities, so that its huge budget can be used to kickstart the economy.

Speaking after the Mipim property show in Cannes last week, at which HCA chief executive Sir Bob Kerslake spoke, Mr Norris said there was great interest in what the HCA planned to do.

Mr Norris said: “People were listening intently to what Sir Bob Kerslake had to say. He didn’t say a lot in my view. It was pretty bland stuff. But he has several billion pounds to kickstart the economy. [He needs] to turn that into action.”

Sir Bob’s presence was one of the big draws of the week, alongside London mayor Boris Johnson.

Mr Norris added: “The HCA is clearly key to a huge amount of potential therefore there was enormous interest. [People want to know] how he is going to spend his money in the nine regions. Not that we heard…the audience for several occasions on which he spoke was looking for something more specific,”

He argued that the HCA could look to join developers’ existing schemes.

He said: “There are many schemes out there blocked by lack of equity finance, which could be unlocked by the HCA. The body needs to tell developers so that they know what it does. I don’t think developers felt thee was enough clarity as to what the HCA will do.”