Veteran developer says industry still using 100-year-old methods

The developer behind the tallest tower in the City of London has said the construction industry is stuck in the past and relying on century-old building methods.

Sir Stuart Lipton’s property firm Lipton Rogers is hoping to complete work on the 62-storey tower at 22 Bishopsgate by 2019. Once finished, it will be tallest building in the Square Mile at 278m high.

But he told a property conference in London earlier today that the industry was lagging behind others when it came to modernising its working methods.

He said: “We build buildings the same way as we did 100 years ago. Our technology is pretty well out of date compared with other industries, our costs are always increasing and our product in real terms doesn’t change very much.”

The man who made his name as the driving force behind the Broadgate development in the 1980s also laid into the planning system.

Speaking at the SIOR International European Conference, he said: “Every six months the government changes the planning system and it never gets any better,” he said, adding “Our system has no sense whatsoever.”

Sir Stuart, who admitted the redevelopment of Stockley Park, a former gravel pit near Heathrow Airport that was transformed into a business park over 10 years back in the 1990s when he was at Stanhope was his proudest achievement, said redevelopment and infrastructure needed to go hand in hand.

“People constantly complain about the demise of high streets and the city but they forget the basics,” he added. “If you can’t pee and park in a city you’re not going to go there.”