14 Jan How Airspace can accelerate Shelter’s 20-year vision
This week campaigning charity Shelter published ‘A vision for social housing’, an extensive report that outlined its 20-year vision for social housing. Shelter worked with 16 commissioners and 31,000 people over a 12 month period to research and produce the report. It urged governments present and future to see “publicly built housing as a key pillar of our national infrastructure.”
Its long term vision is a 20-year goal, with 3.1 million more social homes and a gross additional cost of over £10 billion each year. Shelter concludes that its vision is the “only way” the government can meet its 300,000 target for new homes each year.
Apex Airspace responded with praise and endorsement for Shelter’s vision, but with a caveat; Shelter’s recommendations are not the “only way” to meet the huge target. Changes can start immediately, with results in as little as 20 months.
Airspace development could create 120,000 affordable homes in London and more than 800,000 nationwide.
Val Bagnall, Managing Director at Apex Airspace notes:
“It is possible to attack the problem of insufficient social housing with incredible speed and at reasonable cost by considering the space above properties as development space. The possibility of a new permitted development right for airspace development in 2019 will add significantly to the delivery speed in which new homes could be produced.”
Apex is working with councils and housing associations to deliver an immediate 250 affordable homes programme in London through use of airspace. It has set up its own affordable airspace development company, where costs of new homes could be up to a third less than that of traditional development.
Retail also poses a huge opportunity that needs to be better exploited. Apex has already conducted discussions with the larger supermarket operators to investigate development opportunities above their existing estates.
Airspace development is the innovation that the housing industry needs to accelerate the creation of new, affordable homes.