|Type of paper:||Report|
|Categories:||Project management Professional development|
With gentrification on the rise, old buildings are being demolished to construct more urban buildings that fit into the needs of the 21st century. Paddington Square is a new project in London that represents such as case. The new development project, previously known as Paddington Quarter and the Paddington Cube, aims at maximizing the public realm. The 14-story building covering 62,000 square meters will be inclusive of bars, restaurants, shops, cafes, and offices. The Paddington project, designed by Renzo Piano for the Great Western Developments Limited and Sellar Paddington Ltd, is meant to transform the neglected and poor sites around Paddington into an excellent destination. The project, which received planning permission in 2017, is estimated to finish demolition by the end of 2018. The construction will resume in the first quarter of 2019 with the completion estimated to end in 2021. However, the development of Paddington Square was faced by legal problems before its permission. The development sits on one of London's most historic stations. As a result, many people felt that the project was destroying the natural and historic sites in the area. Therefore, this report discusses the strategic redevelopment project by taking into considerations five main issues.
The first issue to take into consideration is the business case for the Paddington Square development project. The project made a very strong business case for its development. The building aims at maximizing public space and at the same time providing quality office spaces for over 4,000 people. Consequently, this will bring employment opportunities to the Paddington area. Additionally, the developers posit that Paddington's local economy will benefit from the construction of the building. It is estimated that the economy will benefit as much as PS350m a year following the completion of Paddington Square. The PS825m Paddington scheme is meant to create 4,500 jobs for the community around the Paddington area. Hence, the overall business aim of the Paddington project is to create new jobs and boost the economy. Rather than just creating new buildings, development projects should always aim at creating opportunities that benefit the community. According to Hochstenbach and Musterd (2017), post cities across Europe have been marked with growing social inequalities that limit the housing opportunities for low socio-economic groups because of gentrification. To avoid such as scenario, Paddington Square's business case relied on providing employment opportunities and boosting the economy rather than just investing.
However, the project was faced with legal challenges from the community and other institutions - for instance, St Mary's Hospital that suggested that the construction of the building would lengthen ambulance journey times. In response to the claim, the developers insisted that the project would improve transport connectivity owing to the new Bakerloo line station it will create. It will connect people to major transport links in Heathrow, Canary Wharf, and the West End. The heritage campaigners also opposed the construction because the 111-year-old post office building was in a conservation area. It is imperative for new construction developments to take into consideration the needs of the community by preserving their heritage. Preservation of cultural heritage contributes to the well-being of the community and enhances economic development (Grazuleviciute, 2006). Paddington Square failed to formulate a well-thought-out business plan on how to address the issue of preserving historic sites that meant a lot to the community around the area.
It is not easy to manage the interests of different stakeholders in a project. Major constructions such as Paddington Square always attract interest from various stakeholders. The stakeholders may express different ideas, views, needs, and expectations about the project. The difference in opinion may create conflict because each of the stakeholders wants the project to conform to their ideas. According to Olander (2007), it is important to have a stakeholder management process that evaluates the expectations and needs of stakeholders about the objectives of the project. Accordingly, stakeholder analysis is imperative in the process because it determines the impact of stakeholder influence on the project (Olander, 2007). The Paddington Square project has two main stakeholders: Sellar Paddington Ltd and Great Western Developments Limited. The two stakeholders may have had conflict views Sellar Company doubled as the owner and developer. Hence, to manage the stakeholders, the Paddington Square project employed different specialists, such as demolition specialist Erith, to deal with issues concerning the project. Also, the project has a team of experts overseeing the project. The team includes Turner and Townsend acting as the construction manager.
The Central government in the United Kingdom plays a role in the construction industry. Through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the government sets out rules and regulations in the construction industry. MHCLG is responsible for setting building regulations, giving planning permission, and approving planning policy (Samuel, 2018). Paddington Square is situated in the City of Westminister in London. The local government body in the city is the Westminister City Council. The local authorities in London are responsible for approving construction development projects within their locale. Therefore, Paddington Square had to submit its plan to the Westminister City Council to get an approval. Westminister City Council issued planning permission in 2017. However, permission was granted after the plan was revised from a 72-story building to a 14-story building. The Westminister City Council justified their decision to permit the construction of Paddington Square citing that it would improve infrastructure. By improving infrastructure, the economy at Westminister will develop as a whole.
It is of significant importance to put in place a strategy when dealing with the construction of a major project. A good strategy should aim at achieving the goals and objectives of the project. Additionally, it should strive to achieve benefit realization as outlined in the project's business plan. It is not easy to put together a successful construction project. Thus, developers should have a concrete business strategy. Paddington Square employs a sound strategy for achieving project success and benefits realization. After facing criticism and opposition from the initial plan of the building, the developers of Paddington Square decided to device a better strategy. The initial 72-story plan became provocative with campaigners and residents. The government heritage agency, Historic England, also opposed for the plan suggesting that it was out of proportion with the rest of the Paddington area. Hence, the developers devised another strategy for the construction. The revised strategy paid attention to the benefit realism of the construction to the community and other people outside Paddington. The strategy to reduce the building's floors also observed one of the conditions for attainment of planning permission from the city council.
Brexit, British Exit, is the imminent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Besides denying the United Kingdom access to the common single market, it is projected that the British economy will contract in the next decade in the event of Brexit (Ramiah, Pham, and Moosa, 2017). Moreover, the construction industry may suffer immensely in the event of successful Brexit. The construction industry in the UK depends heavily on foreign labor. If Brexit takes place, the number of foreign workforce in the UK will be affected. The biggest concern raised by construction companies on the uncertainty of Brexit is the shortage of skilled labor. The issues surrounding the immigration of non-UK citizens especially those from Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries may affect the workforce in Britain (Simionescu et al. 2017). Hence, the Paddington Square project may witness a decline in the number of employees in the construction. A decline in the workforce will heavily affect the project because it has already estimated its completion date. Hence, delays may be witnessed as well as loss of finances in sourcing for other sources of labor. Brexit may also affect the plan of skyscrapers in the UK. Many of the plans for tall buildings in London may never be realized if there is a Brexit-induced property slump. The criticism and opposition Paddington Square faced on its initial plan for a 72-story building may have been impacted by the current Brexit ideas. Brexit not only poses threats to loss of workforce but also poses challenges to the importation of goods. The construction industry relies on the importation of materials for building. Hence, the price of materials might continue to rise with the current Brexit. It may adversely affect the construction of Paddington Square that will rely on to outsource most of the construction materials that are not available in the UK.
In conclusion, Paddington Square is a project that will have positive outcomes on the economy. Through the construction of the building, many employment opportunities will be realized. The construction will employ many people, most of whom are from the surrounding community. After the construction of the building, it is estimated that over 4,000 employment opportunities will be created. Hence, the project will benefit not only the community but also those outside the Paddington area. However, the project was faced by difficulties resulting from the controversial views on its skyscraper plan. Many local communities, institutions, and local authorities opposed the initial structure of the building. Therefore, the developers had to revise their initial plan by formulating a better strategy that took into account social and political factors. Although the project faced some challenges before its construction, it received a permit to demolish and construct following its new revised plan. However, the project may be impacted by the current Brexit situation in Britain. It may have a turnover on its workforce and importation of materials. Like most construction companies in the UK, Paddington Square will utilize a diverse workforce consisting mostly of foreign labor. Unfortunately, if Brexit is successful, the project may experience the loss of some of its workforce and endure high costs in importing materials. The project can, however, revert this by planning for its construction come next year early. It can imports its materials beforehand and secure a permanent workforce.
Grazuleviciute, I., 2006. Cultural Heritage in the Context of Sustainable Development. Environmental Research, Engineering & Management, 37(3).
Hochstenbach, C. and Musterd, S., 2018. Gentrification and the suburbanization of poverty: changing urban geographies through boom and bust periods. Urban Geography, 39(1), pp.26-53.
Olander, S., 2007. Stakeholder impact analysis in construction project management. Construction management and economics, 25(3), pp.277-287.
Ramiah, V., Pham, H.N. and Moosa, I., 2017. The sectoral effects of Brexit on the British economy: early evidence from the reaction of the stock market. Applied Economics, 49(26), pp.2508-2514.
Samuel, F., 2018. Promoting design value in public rented housing, an English perspective. UK Collaborative Housing Evidence Centre, CACHE.
Simionescu, M., Bilan, Y., Smrcka, L. and Vincurova, Z., 2017. The effects of European economic integration and the impact of Brexit on the UK immigrants from the CEE countries.
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