Developers in London are likely to see an uptick in demand for mixed-use developments in 2018 as local authorities seek to protect essential services, according to builders’ merchants Travis Perkins.
Increased interest is expected following the Mayor of London’s draft 2017 London Plan, officially launched on 1st December. It called on councils to “allocate an appropriate range and number of sites that are suitable for residential and mixed-use development”.
The call to action was driven by the continuing challenges facing services such as builders’ merchants in the capital as:
- Local authorities remain under incredible pressure to deliver on affordable housing targets as the building rate for affordable homes in the capital remains 9% below the target level set in the 2016 London Plan
- The critical need for more residential space in central London is squeezing logistics sites such as builders’ merchants out of the capital — a threat recognised in the draft London Plan
- Employment at builders’ merchants has declined by 34% since 2015, while general construction employment continues to increase, highlighting the impact that the loss of logistics space is having on the sector
Martin Meech, Group Property Director at Travis Perkins, said: “We are pleased that the draft London Plan recognises the need for protecting essential services and hope it will inspire councils across London to support mixed use developments as a way of meeting the multiple needs of our vibrant communities.
“This is a great first step towards retaining builders’ merchants in the capital, but more clarity is needed on how this will be done in practice. Concrete planning protections are a necessity if we are to completely prevent any further loss of essential services in 2018.”
The draft 2017 London Plan recognised mixed-use developments as an effective way of protecting the limited logistics space in the ‘Central Activity Zone’.