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Looking up: delivering new affordable homes in the capital
8 March 2019
It’ll be no surprise to learn that London’s population is expected to grow by one million over the next ten years. The capital needs at least 65,000 new homes per year to meet this demand. We’re currently falling short of that by some margin.
If we don’t find some way to ramp up construction, the housing crisis will only become more acute and young people will continue to feel shut out of the market. We can all agree that this can’t be allowed to happen.
At Apex Airspace, this problem inspired us to explore more novel methods of house building, focused on airspace development – the process of turning unused rooftops into new homes. To do this, developers like ourselves purchase airspace rights from private and institutional freeholders.
We then manage the whole process of design, planning and construction. Construction is accelerated by building homes offsite in factories meaning they arrive 95 per cent complete. This halves construction times and causes minimal disturbance to neighbouring homes.
Importantly, airspace development doesn’t just work for the freeholder. It also adds real value to others with a stake in the property by refurbishing existing public spaces.
While we’ve been pushing airspace development as a concept since 2016, the benefits are now really being noticed by national and local government. Homes England and the Mayor of London have both invested into our proposition, providing a combined £19m to roll-out new homes across the capital.
Next up for us is developments in Tooting, Bermondsey and Wanstead. And, beyond that, there’s scope to develop our proposition across the entire UK.
We know the housing crisis is more than just a numbers game. But research has shown that there is potential for up to 180,000 new airspace properties in London alone. This would cover a third of London’s housebuilding needs over the next decade.
So, while airspace development won’t solve London’s housing crisis alone, it’s clearly a big part of the puzzle. At Apex Airspace, we look forward to playing our part in this, and making sure that Londoners get comfortable with skyline living.
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