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William Poole’s New London Quarterly Viewpoint

January 9, 2019

Director William Poole was recently invited to contribute to New London Quarterly’s Viewpoint feature, presenting his thoughts in response to “Where are we going to build the 100,000 homes a year London needs?”.

He states “The answer is not just in major regeneration zones, but at a more granular level throughout the city. The Mayor’s latest plan enables greater density across the spectrum, and places responsibility on planning officers to reject sites that are not optimised – from height clusters on transport hubs to upwards extension of small buildings.

Opportunities are abundant on sites previously intended for other uses, such as failing high street retail and industrial-led land. These well-connected but underdeveloped parts of our city are ready for mixed use occupiers to breathe new life into them. This ‘new London mix’ is a strong formula, bringing other benefits in enlivening the public realm at different times of day, and promoting a sustainable way of life that relies less on commuting. In turn this improves air quality, making high streets and town centres more welcoming places to live.

Fringe sectors of co-living and building guardians are growing alongside an exploding PRS market. All offer affordable living in good locations; increasingly popular with Gen Z who have lower expectations of property ownership or even a long-term fixed address.

We should welcome these trends over rampant PD conversion of tired buildings to flats, which can derail good quality, higher density redevelopment, resulting in a long-lasting detrimental impact on the quality of our urban environment.”

The Winter 2018/2019 edition of New London Quarterly is available from the NLA.