London Development Agency
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New well-designed homes can transform South London town centres

New housing can revitalise town centres in South London, according to a new study by the London Development Agency. Rather than damaging their character, the study shows that new, well-designed housing can actually make these areas even more distinctive.

London’s population is expected to grow by a further 500,000 households by 2026. Much of this growth will happen in London’s suburbs. The study aims to inform the debate about the future shape of London’s housing growth – especially in its suburbs.

The study shows that planned, well-designed housing could bring positive changes to seven places in different south London boroughs: the Old Kent Road, Balham, Lea Green, Morden, Anerley Hill, West Norwood and Purley. “SEVEN: Housing Intensification in seven south London town centres” uses different scenarios to illustrate how increases in housing can be accommodated in different ways in different areas – and lead to a better environment, revitalised shopping areas and new community facilities.

By looking at different scenarios for each area, the study demonstrates that a positive approach to planning, combined with good urban design, can meet the demand for new homes while respecting the existing heritage of each area. The best results can be achieved if local communities are involved in the design process. The study will help politicians, planners and developers to consider the issues involved when looking to increase housing while maintaining and improving the essential characteristics of London’s suburban town centres and their edges.

London Development Agency Director of Design, Strategy & Planning Geoff Raw said:

“Londoners need more homes and good quality homes that create vibrant, desirable neighbourhoods where people want to live. This study shows that far from creating unpopular identikit towns, well planned and well designed homes can revitalise London’s suburbs and make them even more distinct. We hope that planners, architects and others will use this study to inform their thinking and their future plans.”

“SEVEN: Housing Intensification in seven south London town centres” was developed in cooperation with planners in south London boroughs and can be downloaded from the LDA website: 

For further information, contact the LDA news team: Robert Beasley 020 7593 8437 Public enquiries 020 7593 9000.

Notes to Editors

1. “SEVEN: Housing Intensification in seven south London town centres” was commissioned by the London Development Agency and conducted by Urhahn Urban Design. It follows the publication of “TEN north London town centre” study in 2006.

2. The scenarios in “SEVEN” are not plans or proposals and are intended for illustration only, showing some of the opportunities and issues arising from different levels of housing intensification.

3. Illustrations for the different scenarios are available on request.

For further information please contact the LDA Media Team: Robert Beasley 020 7593 8437 LDA out of hours: 07977 439371 Public enqs: 020 7593 9000

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