On this week's episode of EG's We're Still Here podcast host Emily Wright is joined by editor Samantha McClary to discuss the mounting issue of well-capitalised companies taking advantage of the UK government's measure to protect struggling businesses throughout the pandemic.

Under the new government rules, a blanket moratorium on rents has been extended from March to September with another extension anticipated.

But as Elon Musk's Tesla continues not to pay rents despite having a market value of £199bn and Mike Ashley's Frasers plans to withhold rental payment indefinitely the industry is calling for government to put perimeters on the amount of rent that occupiers can sidestep and take the capitalisation of the business into account.

"What these companies is doing is not illegal, but it's just not cricket," says Samantha as mounting concerns build up among landlords around the "injustice" that certain companies are able to avoid paying rent despite being in a position to meet their obligations.

For more on this plus details on the launch of the world's first smart building council and EG's talent issue tune in to this week's episode of We're Still Here.

Manchester has always had a reputation as being progressive and people-centric. But as we prepare to emerge from this pandemic there are challenges ahead. How will the city ensure communities are at the heart of Manchester’s rebirth?

  • Will there be a rise in community working hubs?
  • Should social development be policed?
  • What will become of Manchester’s satellite towns?
  • How will devolution help drive this agenda?


Victoria Armstrong, chief executive & founder, The Oasis Centre

Chris Cheap, principal, managing director, Avison Young

Mark Fletcher, chief executive, Manchester Pride

Adam Wisher, regional director North West, partnerships and property, LCR

Damian Wild, editor in chief and publisher, EG, interviews Manchester mayor Andy Burnham

As whispers of returning to the office start to become a reality for many Mancunians, social distancing restrictions will bring new challenges to the city. With less people commuting, will the rise of agile working become the new normal for Manchester?

  • Does the concept of a “city" need to be redesigned?
  • Should the purpose of office be refined?
  • What does the rise of localism mean for the high street?


James Evans, director, Savills

Professor Cathy Parker, co-chair, Institute of Place Management

Andrew Pattinson, partner, head of real estate Manchester, Shoosmiths

D’mitri Zaprzala, head of residential, Octopus Real Estate

On 19 June, the government published a raft of measures to help protect tenants from eviction over the summer.

It also introduced the Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic – to encourage commercial landlords and tenants to work together to protect viable businesses. The voluntary code has been developed in collaboration with the retail, hospitality and property sectors and provides a framework for discussions between landlords and tenants.

To discuss the detail of the Code, how it might work in practice and whether it goes far enough, EG’s Sarah Jackman is joined by Jonathan Ross, a property litigator and partner at Forsters. He considers a range of issues and reflects on his experience of facilitating discussions between parties over the past few months.

For this and more make sure you tune in for the full discussion.

In this latest episode of Bricks & Mortar, Sarah Jackman is joined by Jane Batchelor – a careers consultant at Henley Business School at the University of Reading and two second year students at the same university: Megha Sharma (BSc Investment and Finance) and Toby Swindells (BSc Real Estate) to discuss the effect of the pandemic on those graduating in 2021.

Toby and Megha reflect on what they’ve experienced so far in relation to summer internships, why keeping an open mind on career path is important and how they plan to approach their graduate job searches in the autumn.

Jane considers what the recruitment process for 2021 could look like as well as giving advice on what undergraduates could be thinking about to help strengthen their skill sets.

All share optimism for the future and, as Jane reflects, “It might be challenging to secure that first job, but once into the industry, you can have such an interesting career. It’s going to give you great opportunities.”

On this special EG podcast on inclusive communities in partnership with DAC Beachcroft our guests consider and debate how real estate and the tech sector should respond to a collective increase in empathy and compassion within and between communities off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Host Emily Wright is joined by Virginia Clegg, partner at DAC Beachcroft, Neil Impiazzi, partnership development director at SEGRO and William Newton, president and MD of Wiredscore to discuss what a compassionate world post pandemic might look like and how technology and the real estate sector can support this.

From understanding how and why technology can be as divisive as it is cohesive if not approached democratically to the role communities and cities can play in the fight for equality this podcast opens up a raw and powerful discussion as we all navigate these challenging and unprecedented times.

Ad DAC Beachcroft's Virginia Clegg says on this episode: "Empathy and trust will be vital parts of our lives going forward and we must now make sure we don't lose those things."

For this and more make sure you tune into the full podcast.

On this week’s episode of EG’s We’re Still Here podcast Emily Wright is joined by EG residential reporter Emma Rosser for a round-up of the week’s news and HOK’s Gary Clark as the architecture practice releases designs for mobile COVID-19 testing labs.

Emma kicks off by relaying some of the tributes that have poured in from across the industry following the sudden death of Berkeley Group founder and chairman Tony Pidgley last week. An industry stalwart, the sector has lost a true legend. For more on the man known to some simply as "the guv'nor" be sure to read EG's obituary here https://www.egi.co.uk/news/he-was-the-doyen-of-residential-property-the-guvnor-of-that-business/. 

Also this week, Emma delves into Boris Johnson's "Project Speed" following the Prime Minister's announcement of the “most radical reforms to our planning system” since the Second World War. Under the reforms developers will be permitted to switch shops to homes and offices without the bother of a planning application. Proposals to demolish vacant shops and build homes will not require planning approval either.

And, of course, it wouldn't be We're Still Here without our now weekly Robert Jenrick update. Have a listen, you won't be disappointed.

Also this week, Emily Wright speaks to HOK's principal and science and technology leader Gary Clark about the design of mobile COVID-19 testing labs. Designed to address the needs of large institutions including colleges, universities, business parks, corporations and government offices, the £1m labs can accommodate up to nine staff workers and equipment capable of testing 80 samples at one time. The result would be mobile labs doing up to 1,120 tests a day.

For more on the design and Gary's thoughts on how the labs could become a significant part of the UK's response to COVID-19 as lockdown rules ease further, tune in to hear more.

This week the Future of Real Estate podcast takes to the road, or rather the Thames towpath. This year’s LandAid 10k isn’t happening but into its place jogs the QuaranTEN, raising money to end youth homelessness. Damian Wild sets out on a training run with Knight Frank senior partner Alistair Elliott to talk about how the event, taking place between 8 and 15 July, will work and at how Covid is changing London’s residential, office and retail markets.

Hannah Quarterman, partner and head of planning at Hogan Lovells International, joins EG's Jess Harrold to look at the raft of planning changes that lie ahead through the soon-to-be-enacted Business and Planning Bill and prime minister Boris Johnson's pledge to reform the system.

Quarterman digs into the detail of the Bill, including the extension of the time period for implementing planning permissions, and explains how its provisions will work in practice.


In addition, she assesses the new permitted development right for additional floors on purpose-built blocks of flats, and gives her view on the PM's pledge to "build, build, build".

“Seeing this kind of enthusiasm for building is always attractive," says Quarterman, "it’s always great to hear that the government wants to see homes delivered and investment coming forward… But this enthusiasm needs to be tempered slightly by ensuring we are building the right thing, in the right place, in the right way.”

Is widescale reform what the planning system even needs? Take a listen to hear her thoughts.

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