Interview: Lucy Taylor at Ealing Council
Wed 14 January 2015, 3:23 pm
Lucy Taylor, Ealing's director of regeneration and planning policy, took part in an exclusive interview with 3Fox International – Ealing in London publisher and organiser of property event, Sitematch – revealing how the borough has changed since she started working there and setting out her hopes and ambitions for the future
Ealing Council's director of regeneration and planning policy, Lucy Taylor
Which projects are you most proud of being involved in?
The Acton Town Hall project was one of the first I got involved in at Ealing. It was the conversion of a council-listed building into a new leisure centre and library and it has been great to see a project through from inception to opening, to operation. We successfully combined the old with the new, creating a brand new civic facility while keeping the heritage, and local people love it too.
I am also proud to have been involved with the Millennium Dome project in Greenwich, delivering successful millennium celebrations, stimulating long-term regeneration in that area and setting up a project to enable local people to get jobs at the Dome and with other local employers.
Which three developments outside of Ealing do you most admire and why?
I love the whole of the South Bank – in particular the London Eye as part of the city's skyline. It was originally only temporary but shows that it's worth taking a bold step and giving something a go. The Olympic Park and new sporting venues have brought opportunities for new experiences – my children rave about their “Total Wipeout” experience in the Olympic Pool.
What was your first impression of Ealing when you started out working there?
I started working in Ealing eight years ago and my impression was of leafy outer London suburbia with not much development going on. However, I could see the potential for regeneration and change because of the excellent transport links which are being enhanced with Crossrail. I was impressed that regeneration was a very high priority for the council at that time and has consistently remained so across all political parties.
What makes developers good partners?
Collaborative working and developing shared objectives, investment in the long-term – [those that are] not just in it for a quick buck, and the recognition that a development needs to fit into the wider place, bringing improvements beyond the direct site.
When people find out you work in the borough, what are the most common things they ask?
I live in the borough as well, so when I catch up with local friends and neighbours they always want to know when Ealing will get a new cinema. Ealing town centre had a cinema until 2009 when it was closed and demolished with the promise of developing a new one. This development has stalled for so long that the council has now used its CPO [compulsory purchase order] powers to acquire the site and develop it in partnership with Land Securities. The CPO inquiry is scheduled for April 2015 so we are moving ever closer to seeing Ealing Filmworks delivered in the town centre.
If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?
Touring the west coast of America and visiting all the national parks. Having been to a couple of them I was amazed by the scale, wildness and different geological features. Hiking through the parks, a weekend in Las Vegas, cycling in Marin County and visiting vineyards would be my perfect trip.
Which book, film, piece of music or sporting occasion has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
Running the London Marathon 15 years ago meant I had to train really hard to be certain of completing it. This got me into the habit of training regularly and I have kept it up ever since. Running and exercise have become things I naturally incorporate into my weekend. I’ve now taken my personal fitness challenge to a whole new level by signing up for Cycle to Cannes [Lucy is part of the Sitematch London team taking part in this charity bike ride from London to Cannes, in the south of France, in March 2015. After a six-day ride, she will arrive in Cannes to take part in Ealing's delegation to the international property conference, MIPIM.]
What is your favourite gadget and why?
The iPad – it makes keeping in touch with people, what’s going on and organising myself and family so much easier.
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