In a recent consultation, the Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF) have expressed their support to “build up” in London in order to reduce the pressure to “build out” onto Green Belt.
The BMF claim that new-build housing cannot provide enough homes to overcome today’s housing crisis, and that adding extra storeys to existing sites must be one of the solutions to resolve this problem. Besides this, they think that the planning process ought to be a system where development is enabled and managed, rather than it just being about control.
The news comes after a recent article KCW Today published about the proposal to build a two-story extension atop of the Cromwell Mansions in Kensington, dubbed the “spaceship” extension. Many of the residents in Kensington have expressed their concerns about the upward extension; saying that it is out of keeping with the existing building and will add more congestion.
The BMF say that the housing problem in London is stark. According to figures published by the Minister for Housing and the Mayor of London, 49,000 extra homes per year are required to meet the housing demand. But, only 25,0000 additional units have been completed each year since 2008, and fewer than 2% of these were projects that included upward extension work.
“The BMF believes better use can be made of existing buildings, said John Newcomb, BMF Managing Director, “allowing London property to be extended upwards, for a limited number of storeys, up to the height of adjoining buildings, without needing prior approval, is a good way to do so.”
The Mayor of London elections are being held on 5 May, Newcomb notes that the new Mayor needs to make “housing delivery the number one policy priority.”
Photo credit: julien_o_0