Regional development agencies have been voted the least successful of all bodies at delivering regeneration projects, a survey of leading industry figures has revealed

The survey of 50 senior regeneration executives was carried out for the launch issue of Regenerate, Building’s new housing and regeneration supplement, which is published with this week’s issue.

More than 40% of the respondents said RDAs were not good at delivering regeneration.

Those surveyed were asked to say which bodies were most and least successful at delivering regeneration. The list included the quango English Partnerships, RDAs, urban regeneration companies, housing market renewal pathfinders, affordable housing developers and the private sector. RDAs emerged as the worst performers and urban regeneration companies were considered to be the best.

England’s network of nine RDAs was established by the government six years ago to drive economic development and co-ordinate regional regeneration. Although RDAs’ powers have been increased, some of the survey respondents believe they still concentrated too much attention on their business and skills brief and did not make enough effort to promote physical regeneration.

The survey looks at the regeneration industry’s attitudes to the government’s performance on housing and regeneration, and was carried out immediately after the ODPM’s Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit in January. All responses given were anonymous.

In the survey, respondents said that the government’s overall performance was good and that its five-year plan for housing, Homes for All, launched in January, would have a positive impact.

But those surveyed were less happy with the detail of government policy.

  • Most were sceptical of John Prescott’s much-publicised desire to build homes for £60,000. They questioned their build quality and, and one person described the scheme as “a complete waste of time”.
  • Respondents saw little likelihood that reform of the planning system through the new Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 would make the process of taking a development proposal through planning any easier. The industry said planning remained the biggest obstacle to delivery.
  • Many of those questioned believed there were too many delivery agencies.