New ‘disused site’ action plan could deliver 10k London homes in 10 years

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  · New research identifies 4,552 disused sites and spaces in just 13 London boroughs
  · Self-building pilot on 100 sites will help young professionals and first time buyers

4,552 redundant spaces and sites in blocks and estates – such as old laundries, garages and store sheds – have been identified across just 13 boroughs of London.¹

A new report, “Gap In The Market”, sets out a large scale ‘disused site’ action plan – across all housing estates in every borough – which could deliver 10k homes in 10 years.²

One of the key recommendations is for a city-wide pilot of 100 sites for self-builders, such as young professionals and first time buyers, to build and renovate new homes on.

Identified capacity of sites and spaces across 13 London Boroughsgap-map-sm
*See appendix for details on these sites and space


GLA Conservative London Assembly Member, and author of the report, Steve O’Connell said:

Steve-opinion“We need an urgent, mass scale, coordinated effort to turn the thousands of redundant spaces in blocks and estates into housing. A huge part of this is encouraging people to build their own homes. Some quick research for my report shows that it’s possible to build a well-insulated, energy efficient home for less than 50k. The opportunity to build homes on a shoestring budget will help the likes of young professionals and first time buyers who may otherwise struggle with hefty deposits. What self-builders need is the land to build on – I have identified over 4,000 disused sites and spaces across just 13 boroughs of London, and I’m urging the Mayor of London to initially pilot self-building on 100 of these spaces.

“My action plan also involves every borough identifying their disused sites and spaces, putting them into their next available housing delivery plan, and getting the Mayor to scrutinise them. If all boroughs fully explore this potential we could deliver at least 10k homes in 10 years. Let’s get started.”

The full report ‘Gap In The Market: Building new homes in London on disused sites’ can be accessed at


Click here to download the report

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¹4,552 redundant spaces and sites identified on public land in 13 boroughs across London in 2014. Boroughs are: Barnet, Brent, City of London, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Haringey, Bexley, Bromley, Islington, Lewisham, Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Camden. Data obtained through direct responses from boroughs and accessing housing strategies. For further information, see table in appendix section of report.
²10,000 homes in London equals just over 300 per borough on average – a realistic aspiration based upon the capacity identified so far in just 13 boroughs and what has already been built and planned in boroughs such as Wandsworth.

· Evening Standard: Opportunities to create new housing
· London Live: There’s room for 10,000 new homes on spare land in council estates, say Tories

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