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Co-location set to deliver 30,000 new homes across London

Co-Location developments could deliver 30,371 new homes across London, with 38.5% set to be affordable housing, according to new data released today.

The findings come from a new report from planning and development consultancy Turley, which looked at the delivery rates of Co-Location development in the Capital. Co-Location refers to the knitting together of industrial and residential uses to create new interesting spaces and places.

According to Turley’s data, Co-Location schemes deliver more than 38.5% of all residential units in an affordable tenure (i.e., social/affordable rent) – exceeding the Mayor’s minimum threshold of 35% for residential developments. Due to a more challenging economic climate for developments, the average dropped to 33.4% in 2022 compared to 40.9% over the three previous years.

22,622 new homes within Co-Location schemes have been approved by local planning authorities across London since 2019, with a further 7,749 currently being processed.

In addition to providing a much-needed influx of housing into the Capital, more than two-thirds (71%) of all Co-Location schemes will deliver an uplift in industrial floorspace, compared to what the sites are providing currently.

Since 2019, Co-Location schemes have resulted in a net increase of approximately 372,106 sq m of employment floor space. On average, Turley found that Co-Location schemes achieve a net increase of employment-generating floorspace of approximately 40.5% compared to the existing provision on individual sites.

For the Report, Turley reviewed all strategic Co-Location schemes referred to the Greater London Authority from January 2019 to December 2022. The research aims to provide a clear overview on the progression of these schemes and draw initial conclusions on the effectiveness of this new, mixed-use regeneration concept.

With strategic Co-Location schemes now in progress across at least 13 of London’s boroughs, the research indicates that a significant number of Londoners may soon live in Co-Location developments that combine both industrial and residential to create innovative mixed-use places.

Progress on delivery of these developments has picked up over the past 12-months, with the research showing that 33% of approved schemes are already under-construction. The fact nearly two-thirds of approved schemes are showing broader signs of on-site delivery is a strong indicator of the growing interest in this new development model.

Boroughs such as Ealing, Brent and Southwark were home to a high proportion of Co-Location schemes, with steady gains in the eastern London boroughs (e.g., Waltham Forest, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, and Tower Hamlet).

Catriona Fraser, Planning Director at Turley, said: “Co-Location schemes are still a relatively new concept within the UK planning sector and largely unique to London. At first glance, the schemes might be looked upon sceptically– is it truly possible to create a shared environment that knits together the competing interests of industrial and residential occupiers? Yet, the pace at which these schemes have begun to spread across the Capital shows growing trust in their credibility and deliverability.

“Considering the fact that brownfield land is often seen as less constrained than other available development sites, maximising the development potential of industrial land through Co-Location has the potential to play a critical role in delivering new, affordable homes for Londoners, supporting economic growth and creating exciting new places within the Capital”.