The VIP breakfast at the Capital West London Growth Summit saw around 40 guests enjoy an interesting session focussed on the potential for new homes on the roofs of existing buildings.
Jonathan Smart, of Apex Airspace, outlined what he sees as a 180,000 home opportunity across the capital. Planning rules have recently been introduced to ease the extension of buildings upwards, a process that Apex have been helping inform. London has half the density that Paris does, and just a quarter of New York’s, so this is a real opportunity.
Apex were founded in 2015, and now have funding from BGF Investments, the Greater London Authority, and Homes England, They have a team of 25 people working on around £930m of “airspace opportunities” – all additional homes to the current plan figures, a windfall, in planning terms. They are talking to 12 boroughs and 28 housing associations, and they fund and manage the process from design to completion.
Their volumetric modular approach means faster, better construction, with less disruption for existing residents, and no decant required. Their supply chain can deliver around 100 homes a week.
Smart said their work indicated that 180,000 new homes could be built on top of other buildings, across London, with just a single storey extension. 60,000 of these would be on public land.