Docklands News

Green light given for Stratford Waterfront residential development

London Legacy Development Corporation and Ballymore have secured detailed planning for 700 flats in a quartet of towers on Stratford Waterfront, next to the new V&A East Museum. The buildings, designed by Howells alongside O’Donnell+Tuomey and LDA Design, will rise to 27 storeys. “East Bank is transforming Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the most ambitious cultural project in a generation", said Ballymore development director Simon Ryan. “So, this site demanded new homes of design excellence – in keeping with the bar that has already been set by our cultural and academic partners and neighbours and the site’s most incredible setting by the water and on the park". Construction of the towers is scheduled to start in spring 2026 and complete in late 2029.

Building (27/06/2024)   Construction Enquirer (27/06/2024)  

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E.ON to build low-carbon energy network to serve Silvertown

Energy group E.ON has joined forces with Lendlease to develop a low-carbon heat network across Silvertown, at the Royal Docks in Newham. The "ectogrid" system uses local energy sources such as air and water to facilitate an energy exchange where buildings contribute or draw heating and cooling as required, optimizing energy use across the network. The developers estimate that once operational, the network could cut CO2 emissions by about 4,000 tonnes annually, achieving an 88% reduction compared to traditional gas boilers. It will serve approximately 6,500 new homes and business units.

Sustainable Times (25/06/2024)   Utility Week (24/06/2024)  

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'Time is right for London housing boom'

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, says London needs a "housing boom" on a scale similar to the late 19th century and post-war periods. The supply gap has led to high rents and low home ownership in London, and changes to the planning system and more resources are needed to deliver new homes and critical infrastructure. Leech says accessing capital is crucial for building more homes, including build-to-rent properties, housing for older people, student housing, and affordable and social housing. With the right policy and planning framework, the British Property Federation predicts that annual build-to-rent output can be doubled to 30,000 homes across the UK. Investing in purpose-built student accommodation is also essential to alleviate pressure on the rental market. Partnerships between the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors can unlock billions of pounds for social housing, adds Leech. 

City AM (24/06/2024)  

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What the General Election means for first-time buyers

As record rents and high mortgage rates hamper first-time buyers in their efforts to get on to the property ladder, the Times looks at how the political parties are planning to turn 'Generation Rent' into 'Generation Buy'. The Conservatives' big offer to first-time buyers is the revival of its Help to Buy scheme for three years. Like the last version of the scheme, which ended in March 2023, it would allow first-time buyers to put down a 5% deposit on a new-build home and get an equity loan of up to 20% of the property’s value interest-free for five years.  If re-elected, first-time buyers will not have to pay stamp duty land tax on a home worth up to £425,000, so they could add more of their savings to their deposit. Labour meanwhile has said it would introduce Freedom to Buy, a government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme. Another key Labour pledge is to stop new housing being sold to buy-to-let investors and overseas buyers, with first-time buyers given first refusal. The Lib Dems have pledged to build 380,000 homes a year, with 150,000 of those to be social housing, by creating ten new garden cities. The party would also give local councils the option to end right to buy

The Times (22/06/2024)  

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House prices rise for a second month in a row

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show UK house prices rose by 1.1% to £281,000 in the year to April, up from 0.9% annual growth in the 12 months to March. The ONS said house prices rose by 0.6% in England, 0.4% in Wales and 4.5% in Scotland in the year to April. The data also showed that average UK private rents increased by 8.7% in the 12 months to May, slowing from an 8.9% increase in April. However, the figures reveal a drop in London house prices, which fell by 3.9% between April 2023 and 2024 to an average of £501,880. In Newham, the average price rose 2.7% to £402,435, while in Tower Hamlets, it fell 5.7% to £440,574.

City AM (19/06/2024)   Daily Mail (19/06/2024)   Evening Standard (19/06/2024)   The Independent (19/06/2024)  

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Mayor of London's housing claim 'misleading', says UK Statistics Authority

The UK Statistics Authority has ruled that London Mayor Sadiq Khan's claim of delivering 25,000 affordable homes in the last year alone could be misinterpreted. The claim was made during the London mayoral election campaign, but statistics revealed that the number of affordable homes started in London had actually dropped to the lowest level since 2008–09. The chairman of the UK Statistics Authority stated that the word "delivered" could be misunderstood to mean that the housing had been completed rather than started. 

The Daily Telegraph (15/06/2024)  

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