This week, we hear from one firm about its green legacy, while other readers comment on the flawed planning process and the politics of sustainability

Life after Quintain

Although we are disappointed that Quintain has withdrawn from financing BQL projects to focus on core London development (“Green developer BioRegional Quintain to be wound up,” 11 November, page 9), we celebrate its commitment over the past five years.

BQL’s legacy will be setting a new benchmark in the UK, in particular One Brighton (pictured, right), developed in joint venture with Crest Nicholson. The 172 apartments enable residents to achieve a 70% carbon reduction compared with living in a building regulations home, they sold well and were profitable. We plan to share the lessons of this “One Planet Community” with the industry as a full case study in 2012.

BioRegional Development Group continues to deliver groundbreaking sustainable community projects in both the UK and around the world. Our team is actively pursuing new opportunities to work with developers, investors and planning bodies on new and retrofit communities and is launching initiatives to promote true sustainability - “One Planet Living” - something we need more urgently than ever.

Pooran Desai, BioRegional Quintain

Green potential

In response to your introduction to your issue of 11 November, “Giving up on green,” this isn’t the “greenest government ever”, but there are good reasons why it still should and could be. The opportunity for “green growth” and “green jobs” is more compelling than ever, and the industry knows it. That’s why the UK-GBC’s membership has grown ten-fold through the recession, why Ecobuild has grown more than fifty-fold in five years, and why there is a huge retrofit industry waiting for the government to show its hand for the Green Deal.

The reality is that the government must grasp the green agenda, to deliver low-carbon growth, jobs, energy affordability and security. It should, and could, lead the world in a green industrial revolution. This industry loves a big project, like the London 2012 Games. Delivering value by decarbonising our built environment is a huge project, with attractive profits to be unlocked if we go about it the right way. Business leaders are up for this, but they want a bit of government backing too. A bit of clarity, consistency and certainty is what businesses - large and small - are craving. And in such an uncertain world a government that provides real leadership with a clear policy trajectory to direct investment in this space could yet claim the mantle of the greenest government ever.

Paul King, CEO, UK Green Building Council

A plan to help planning

Regarding your story “Government commits £400m to boost housebuilding,” (21 November,, anything that has a positive impact on an already devastated building industry has to be good news. When they decide to do something about the painful planning processes, maybe our industry can recover.
I have been supplying bricks and stone to housebuilders and contractors for over 25 years. I am often left speechless at planners taking out personal vendettas against some sites and contractors and making decisions that a schoolchild would laugh at. Many planners’ egos are killing the process!

Rob Corr, via

Well defined?

A definition of “surveyor” is: he takes a general view of the said building, including the opinion of his secretary and his colleagues as well as his client’s and client secretary’s views.

Robert D Dangoor