Small and medium new build schemes dominate London's pipeline but will only provide 1 in 5 properties

6th March, 2017

  • Of 1,031 new build developments in London’s planning pipeline 685 comprise between 20 and 150 properties (66%)

  • However, these developments will provide just 1 in 5 of all the individual properties in the pipeline (19%)

  • Just five boroughs have small and medium sized developments providing the majority of properties in the local pipeline

  • KFH analysis confirms the need to support more small and medium sized developments in order to deliver London’s housing requirement

Small and medium sized developments (SMDs) account for two in three new build schemes in London’s pipeline, but will only provide one in five of the properties, according to our latest research.

Read the full report "London's new homes landscape"

The analysis shows there is currently a total of 1,031 private new build developments (all more than 20 properties per development) either awaiting planning permission, with planning consent awaiting construction, or under construction. These schemes will provide a total of 214,875 properties – the equivalent of 17 years of housing delivery in London (based on the average number of private homes completed per year in London over the last five years).

However, while SMDs account for the majority of schemes in the planning pipeline (66%), with 41,878 individual properties between them they will only provide a fraction of the overall number of properties in London’s pipeline (19%).

John East, Director of Land and New Homes at KFH:

“The Government’s Housing White Paper makes clear that small and medium sized developments are vital for London to meet its housing need. Our analysis proves that more has to be done to support developers at the smaller end of the scale. Making more land available for these developments and accelerating the construction of sites that already have planning permission is a start, but securing consent will remain a challenge where there are local sensitivities.”

Five boroughs have the majority of units being delivered by SMDs

While the overall picture for London shows SMDs providing just a fifth of units, the picture across the boroughs shows that five boroughs have SMDs providing the majority of units in the local pipeline.

Bromley has the largest proportion of units being delivered by SMDs with 70.5%, while Camden, Westminster, Richmond upon Thames and Kensington and Chelsea all have a majority of units within SMDs (66%, 63.4%, 63.1% and 53.8% respectively).

Newham, Barking and Dagenham and Hammersmith and Fulham have the lowest proportion of units being delivered by SMDs at just 4.3%, 5.7% and 7.9% respectively. See full borough breakdown below (table 1).

John East said:

“It is clear many boroughs need to do more to include SMDs in their local plans and get behind the developers hoping to build them. Of course, only a unified approach will work; local authorities, central government and developers must work together if London is to get anywhere close to fulfilling its housing requirement.” 

Our research, “London’s new homes landscape”, analysed all private residential new development schemes in London’s pipeline including schemes awaiting planning permission, schemes with consent but awaiting construction, and schemes under construction. The analysis breaks down schemes by unit numbers and borough to provide a clear picture of London’s new homes landscape in the light of the government’s Housing White Paper and the emphasis it places on the importance of small and medium sized developments.

Table 1. London’s new build development pipeline by borough