Completing London's Streets

Completing London's Streets
11 January 2016

How the regeneration and intensification of housing estates could increase London’s supply of homes and benefit residents

London needs to build some 50,000 new homes a year over the next 20 years and some of this requirement can be accommodated by increasing the density of existing places, including local authority housing estates.

Many such estates require updating and this can be done in a way that creates many more homes, a significantly improved living environment for existing and future residents, and better value for local authorities. This would be achieved by rebuilding estates in a street-based pattern, fully integrated into the urban network of neighbouring streets.



The purpose of this report is to examine the relative merits of two different methods of estate regeneration: the currently widely practised block renewal or ‘contemporary regeneration’ approach which replaces all existing buildings and an alternative ‘Complete Streets’ model which repairs London’s streetscape. 

In order to make direct comparisons and achieve a like-for-like comparison of these two different types of regeneration, we have assumed cleared sites. However, this is not meant to imply that the only way of creating a ‘complete streets’ environment on an estate is to demolish all existing homes and this report should absolutely not be taken as a recommendation that estates can only be regenerated through demolition.

It is intended to inform the practice of regenerating estates but does not make an assessment of how many should be regenerated. Instead, it makes estimates of how many new homes might be able to be created under each regeneration model across London as a whole.

The Savills Complete Street model advocates a range of estate outcomes which, under some circumstances might include the extension, re-purposing (e.g. for community use) and refurbishment of existing buildings, as well as replacement. The precise detail would vary from estate to estate according to different conditions including, of course, the desires and preferences of residents. 

We state clearly that successful estate regeneration must start by engaging with existing estate residents at the very outset and that 100% of existing residents would have the right to be re-housed on site in an equivalent or better home under the same terms. 

It is important to read this report in this context.




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