On 25 February 2014, the UK’s property and political elite attended the annual LandAid Debate to discuss property-related hot topics such as HS2, a new airport for London, super-fast broadband and energy. Redwood supported long-standing client LandAid during the sell-out event at London’s City Hall.

Energy UK Chief Executive Angela Knight came out on top at a debate between leading infrastructure experts with her plea for investment in power stations and insulated properties. The voting audience were won over by her argument that new buildings like the Shard “have the potential to pull as much electricity as the whole of Colchester”.

The others did not go down without a fight though. Lord ‘thin controller’ Adonis, in the corner for CrossRail 2, and Daniel Moylan, Airports Adviser to the London Mayor, went head to head on the airports vs. railways debate. Adonis resorted to blackmail, offering the audience a free lunch if they voted for him, and Moylan claimed that Labour’s Heathrow policy was the reason they lost the election, to which Adonis swiftly replied, “I thought it was Gordon Brown and the economy.”

Presenting the case for technology, something to which the audience was broadly supportive, Juliette Morgan, Head of Property at Tech City UK, claimed that creating a digital skin over London would give the capital the “info-structure and infrastructure to power London’s economic regeneration”. She even suggested that £50 billion could be invested into teleportation device research: “If we did this, then maybe we would not need an airport!”

The debate took place in front of an audience of Property VIPs in the GLA Debating Chamber at London’s City Hall for the LandAid Debate 2014. The event was hosted by Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning, and facilitated by broadcaster Sarah Montague. Knight Frank sponsored the event which has so far raised £35,000 for LandAid-funded projects in support of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

Joanna Averley, CEO of LandAid, said: “The LandAid Debate is a great occasion when the property industry gets together to discuss a topical issue. It’s an evening to think about the future of London, while also investing in young people who need some help. Tonight our supporters have also raised over £35,000 to fund important projects that work with some of the UK’s most disadvantaged young people. Thank you to our host Sir Edward Lister, the speakers and to all our partners for making the night such a success.”