The Mayor of London is working up new design guidance in a bid to make higher-density housing more attractive to Londoners.

James murray regenerate

Deputy mayor James Murray delivered the keynote speech at PW Regenerate

Speaking to Property Week at the PW Regenerate conference this week, deputy mayor for housing James Murray said that the Greater London Authority would be working on the project over the course of this year and that the aim was to “produce designs that are attractive and high density”.

The hope is that local communities will be more receptive to high-density schemes in their area if they see that they can be well-designed. “Higher density can seem like an abstract concept and sometimes one which people will have some questions around and perhaps think it might not be appropriate for their area,” Murray said. “I want to start showing them some typologies, some buildings, some designs of what this high density living looks like.”

However, he was clear that high-density would not necessarily mean high-rise in all instances, and that the designs would include some examples of mid-rise schemes.

“High rise absolutely has a part to play but it is not the only way to increase density and it is not the right way to do it on every site in London,” he said.

The move follows on from Sadiq Khan’s proposed removal of density limits for developments in the capital – a policy which was included in the draft London Plan published in November 2017. In that document he called on the property industry to start “developing at densities above those of the surrounding area on most sites.”

Murray accepted that some London boroughs may object to increasing the concentration of housing on new schemes in this way.

“We are talking about building at substantially higher densities in areas where they have not previously had that density,” he said. “It is fair that councils question those targets, but our response is that every borough in London has to play its part building the housing we need.”

It was not clear what form the new design guidance would take but Khan’s target is for 65,000 new homes to be built in London every year.