High rise 'providing the solution' to London's housing issues

High rise 'providing the solution' to London's housing issues (iStock)

The mass construction of high-rise towers for residential use appears to be gaining increasing acceptance as a viable means of solving London's housing shortages, a new survey has suggested. 

New London Architecture's Tall Buildings Survey found that by the end of 2017, there were 510 buildings of more than 20 storeys in the pipeline. Of these, 115 were under construction. 

These numbers were up on 2016, when 455 towers were in the pipeline and 91 were being built. 

Significantly, 458 of the new tall buildings were for residential purposes, with the potential to deliver 106,000 new homes. The organisation said this was evidence that high-rise living, once regarded as a highly unfashionable existence, is now becoming mainstream. 

Chairman of New London Architecture Peter Murray said: "We continue to see a steady increase in the number of tall buildings coming forward and with London’s population continuing to increase and the demand for new homes only getting higher, our view remains that well designed tall buildings, in the right place, are part of the solution."

Landlords involved in the London property sector may increasingly make properties in high-rise buildings part of their portfolios, for a range of reasons. 

Among these is the fact that tall buildings are now increasingly being constructed in outlying boroughs. Indeed, the 2017 list includes high-rises in Bromley and Waltham Forest for the first time. 

Moreover, the high population density of the capital means space is already at a premium. Quite simply, the amount of available land to build on is increasingly limited, not least as parks and other open spaces will become increasingly vital as green lungs in a more crowded metropolis. As such, the only way to go in much of the capital will be up. 
While London continues to rise ever higher as its population soars, the same thing is happening on a smaller scale in other cities with rapidly growing populations. 

Manchester is a prime example, with a plethora of tall buildings currently under construction or planned in the city centre. 

Later this year, the 658 ft South Tower at Deansgate Square will overtake the nearby Beetham Tower as the tallest skyscraper in the UK outside London.