The airspace above an apartment block in an exclusive neighbourhood in Chelsea has gone on sale for £560,000.
It means home buyers will have the chance to own a brand new two-bedroom penthouse flat in the area.
The air and roof space above Drayton Court, a red-brick mansion block near Fulham Road, SW10, is being offered as a lot at the next Savills auction with a guide price of £560,000.
Robin Howeson, who is handling the sale, told Homes & Property that the sale of roof spaces is very rare so it’s not often they would get a lot like this, particularly in prime central London.
The rooftop site in the Boltons conservation area comes with planning permission for a new two-bedroom, two-bathroom flat measuring 969 sq ft (90 sq m), accessed through the existing stair core of the building below.
Plans were submitted in 2013 and the architect’s drawings for the proposed new flat show two en-suite bedrooms linked by a large central living/dining room, with a small kitchen and additional WC.
Building on top of existing buildings has received government backing, with Housing Secretary Sajid Javid confirming plans to make it easier to build upwards in cities like London and Manchester.
The new policy will be included in the revised draft National Planning Policy Framework due for consultation this year.
Arshad Bhatti, chief executive of Apex Airspace, which has agreements with councils, housing associations and supermarkets to build on top of their properties in 2018, welcomed the government announcement.
“Our research shows a potential to build 180,000 homes above London with just a single storey rooftop extension,” Bhatti said.
Bhatti claimed that the way to deal with the housing crisis is a new generation of rooftop townhouses which are manufactured in a factory.
The modular construction is then shipped to its location and placed on the rooftop, often in less than a day, which minimises road closures and disruption to residents, Bhatti said.
A recent report by global property consultant Knight Frank suggested London’s housing crisis could be alleviated by the development of tens of thousands of new homes on its rooftops.
It said 41,000 new dwellings could be built in central London using rooftop development space, without altering the capital’s iconic skyline.
Meanwhile, WSP and UCL have previously estimated that 630,000 residential homes could be created above London by building six storeys above existing municipal buildings.
The trend for airspace development is taking off in other cities too, with budget supermarket Aldi recently revealing it is planning to build more than 2,000 rental apartments above its stores in Berlin.
The mixed-use real estate will be rolled out in at least 30 locations the German capital, following the city’s rapid population growth and increasing demand for affordable housing.
DealMakerz thinks it is positive that developers are looking at innovative ways to alleviate London’s housing crisis.
Whether it is airspace development or the building of “micro” sized flats for millennials, anything that can help people get a foot on the property ladder is to be welcomed.
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