London rooftop developments looking up

Over the rooftops

Building on London’s rooftops could provide 180,000 homes and house a potential 720,000 people.

A recent relaxation of planning rules in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will allow homeowners and developers to build in the airspace above existing residential homes and commercial properties.

Airspace developments

With a £10 million investment from London Mayor Sadiq Khan already in the bag for airspace developers, the new planning rules could extend the creation of rooftop homes and deal with the chronic housing shortage in the capital.

In a recent blog, building supplies expert Insulation Express analysed the number of people who share a square metre of space in UK cities.

Brighton and Hove packs the most people into that space with 10 individuals sharing every square metre in the seaside resort. In London, seven people jostle for space in a single square metre.

With developers tending to look at green belt and brownfield land as the places to build new homes, the potential to look to the sky for greater development is immense.

Easing demand

Insulation Express’ blog noted: “The shortage of available properties has long been recognised as an issue affecting our society, but building upwards could ease the demand in areas with less space and at a faster pace.

“In dense urban areas where there is a lack of development sites, rather than forcing people out of the city, upward extensions could allow people to live and work in city centres.”

Environmental bonus

Upwards extensions are also a more environmentally friendly way to build, says Insulation Express, because many developers use modular homes in this type of construction.

Its blog claimed: “Modular homes use marginally less materials than traditional construction, which makes them quicker to build and less damaging to the environment.”

About the Author Frances Traynor

Fran is the content writer for Capital Conveyancing, producing articles on all aspects of the conveyancing process and around the UK property market in general. If there is a topic you'd like to see covered on these pages, please drop Fran a line on [email protected]