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An answer for London property market has finally been found! But it’s not looking very popular.
Building multi-storey apartment buildings above already existing municipal buildings would ease the pressure on the London housing market. A study has shown that the “air space”above London’s prisons, schools and libraries could hold a total of 630,000 new homes.
Alternatively the existing public service could be demolished and a new one built that incorporates both the facility and new homes.
Bill Price said: “This isn’t about replacing schools and hospitals with apartment blocks, it’s about using the existing land more effectively, with the added bonus that you can regenerate community facilities at the same time.
“It makes so much sense; these sites by their very nature are ideally located for new homes, close to transport and amenities.”
He also went on to say that the reason this hasn’t already been done is not due to engineering difficulties but instead due to the mindset of potential inhabitants.
Londoners were questioned about whether they were willing to live above different types of building. The most acceptable building to live above was a library as 63% of those asked would be willing to live above one. This was followed by existing municipal-owned buildings at 59%; government offices at 44%; legal courts at 31%; hospitals at 23%; schools at 23%; fire stations at 19% and prisons at 11%.
“The challenge is more about the perceived issues of people living above places like hospitals because it’s not the ‘done thing’ in the UK,” Mr Price said. “But it’s being done elsewhere.”
The best know example of this in the UK is the Shard, which contains luxury apartments as well as hotels, bars and offices, and sits on top of London Bridge station. Also under construction is the Plimsoll development in King’s Cross, where the two lowest floors contain schools below the series of towers rising up to 13 storeys high.
Let us know what you think. Would you be willing to live above a local facility? Are there more suitable answers to London’s housing crisis?
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