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Housing market doomed for three years, warns developer

The developer behind the Stirling Prize-winning Accordia housing scheme in Cambridge has warned that the ailing housing market will not ‘restart’ for another three years

Speaking at the latest AJ100 Breakfast Club meeting at Claridge’s in London, Alan Cherry, chairman of Countryside Properties, said the company ‘was now taking a very cautious line’ and that it probably would not be until 2012 ‘before [the industry] saw any progress again.’

Cherry, who is also chairman of the Kent Thameside Economic board, and sits on the board of the Manchester Salford Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder, Medway Renaissance and business park developer MEPC, echoed much of the widely publicised anxieties about the economy.

He said: ‘This looks like being the most difficult recession I've been through - and I've been through three.

‘But if there is a blessing in a recession, you have a bit more time to spend on planning.’

Cherry also warned that the financial meltdown is already having an impact on the quality of some new developments. He added: ‘Because of this pressure of recession [some developers] are building to lower standards than we should.

‘[At the same time] government housing targets are wildly optimistic, but impossible to achieve.’

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