24th May 2021

Yorkshire Post - Property Q&A

Jack Dooley, Architectural Technologist answers Yorkshire Post's Property Q&A.

What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire?

Despite a year of uncertainty brought on by the global pandemic and the initial shock of the first lockdown, development hasn’t really slowed down in the region. There seems to be a lot of activity across the industry as a whole, with a strong focus on the residential sector, quite possibly helped by the migration of a significant number of people from the capital to “Gods Own Country”.

What is your favourite building in the region and why?

Yorkshire has a long list of fantastic buildings, including the Jenga-like structure that is Broadcasting Place on Woodhouse Lane and the stunning gallery, The Hepworth in Wakefield to name a few. However, my favourite building in the region is the new Maggie’s Centre by Heatherwick Studio in the grounds of St James's University Hospital. I really like the considered use of natural and sustainable materials combined with an extensive landscaping scheme that creates a sort of urban woodland. There is nothing else like it in the region.

If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?

I think there needs to be more emphasis on sustainable developments across the board. We have the likes of CITU’s Climate Innovation District and York Council’s Passivehaus development at the old Duncombe barracks site, along with a number of small-scale developments, but I feel more could be done by the larger commercial developers within the region as we move to providing net zero carbon homes and buildings.

Whom do you most admire in property in Yorkshire?

I admire the true craftspeople who work within our industry. Our region is home to so many high-quality award winning commercial and residential buildings that are both inspirational and add value to our region. As a collective, the Yorkshire property industry has a lot to offer, and there are just too many talented architects and developers to single out just one person.

What is the best project you have been involved in?

Don Robins House for St George’s Crypt, a purpose-built development for those who find themselves in a precarious housing situation, which is nearing completion. The development will provide one and two bedroom apartments, along with training facilities and a communal landscaped garden. It has been great to work with St George’s Crypt and the rest of the development team. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the building improves the lives of its residents.