Revival of the High Street in London

3 D Personnel

According to a recent report, the combined effect of new planning laws, market forces and social change will lead to more than 16,000 new homes in London.  The research which was conducted by Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, an independent property services group, suggests that London will see the revival of town centres in areas such as Croydon, Sutton and Ilford.

Considering total possible floorspace divided by minimum space standards for a two bedroom home, as per the Draft New London Plan, the report concludes that 16,117 new homes could be constructed.  Possible floorspace was calculated by identifying vacant commercial units that could be converted to residential space.  Clustering of such space has identified the 10 London town centres which have the most potential to regenerate. 

In an effort to revitalise town centres, new planning policies were introduced in September of 2020.  The policy changes were also supported by the “Future High Streets Fund”.  Besides targeting unnecessary bureaucracy, one of the main policy elements is a wider scope of permitted developments rights, which will reduce both construction project costs and lead times.  Developers will also be able to exploit “airspace”, which will see new homes being built on top of existing buildings.

Market factors, such as sustainability, had seen the emergence of the “20 minute neighbourhood” concept, wherein you can carry out most of your daily activities, work, leisure, cultural, community, etc., within a 20 minute walk or cycle from the home.  The Coronavirus has led to an unexpected push in this direction as more and more people are working from home.  We have also seen the introduction of cycle lanes and wider pavements in the last twelve months. 

We await further developments.

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