Housing crisis in London: BMF proposes to add extra storeys on existing buildings
The Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF) has produced its proposal to tackle the housing crisis in London without affecting the Green Belt.
According to the organisation, "new-build housing cannot provide enough homes needed in London to overcome today's housing crisis. Better use has to be made of existing buildings and building upwards to add extra storeys must be one of the solutions that leads to the completion of extra housing in the capital."
John Newcomb, Managing Director of the BMF, commented: “No-one wants a repeat of bad high-rise housing from the past. But the BMF believes better use can be made of existing buildings. As these figures show, there is scope to dramatically increase the number of new homes. Allowing London property to be extended upwards, for limited number of storeys, up to the height of adjoining buildings, without needing prior approval, is a good way to do so. It is not the single solution to today’s housing crisis but it is a good one, worth pursuing”.
The scale of the problem in London is very stark. The figures published jointly by the Minister for Housing and the Mayor of London show that 49,000 extra homes per year are required to narrow the gap between housing demand & supply. Yet on average, only 25,000 additional units have been completed each year since 2008. And of these, fewer than 2% were as a result of projects that included some element of upward extension work.
The BMF concluded its remarks by reminding politicians that demand for housing is far outstripping supply. The concept of enabling London to “build up” more easily should be introduced as quickly and smoothly as possible to allow owner-occupiers and landlords to complete un-contentious projects that conform to the rules.