Surprise Findings of New Research Highlight Londoners’ Local FrustrationsPosted on 27th July 2017
Londoners Let Down by Housing and Community Regeneration
New research has found that while Londoners ‘think local’ and take pride in belonging to their borough, they feel let down by housing and regeneration of their communities. In a poll of 1,005 Londoners sponsored by Affinity GRE’s Regenerate London plc, A staggering 93 percent of participants said they felt least proud of any new or improved housing within their borough. Nearly three in five (58 per cent) said they had no idea of any regeneration projects planned for their area in the coming years.
Londoners Blame Funding and Their Borough Councils For Lack of Regeneration
When asked what had been the best addition or example of improvement in their borough over the previous five years, one in five (19 per cent) were unable to identify any improvements whatsoever. Restaurants and social spaces polled highest at 17 per cent, but property developments designed to deliver better housing polled just seven per cent. When asked what they thought the barriers were to regeneration, 45 per cent blamed lack of funding, 29 per cent blamed lack of support from the borough council and 14 per cent blamed “a lack of desire for regeneration”. House builders, often blamed for delaying regeneration by “land banking” did not feature.
The study, conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Regenerate London, confirmed Londoners’ strong sense of community and demonstrated the feeling of belonging the capital’s residents value in their own borough. This was illustrated by as many as 70 per cent of participants claiming to be aware of the history of their borough which is more than those living in other parts of country. A whopping 86 percent of respondents reported confirming that they have at least some interaction with the community. London is known as a city of communities.
Streets Are Most Neglected But Housing Tops The Poll For Biggest Investment Need
Conducted between 12-14 July this year, the survey also asked Londoners to identify the aspects of their community they felt had been most neglected in recent years in terms of investment and regeneration. Two in five (40 per cent) cited the state of their streets, a third of respondents (33 per cent) their shopping facilities, 21 percent a lack of improvements to privately owned houses and properties, and 16 per cent progress in the delivery of new builds and private developments. But, housing topped the poll as the aspect requiring the greatest investment in their borough at 22 per cent, while cleaner streets and better transport links were also identified as areas for action. Only six per cent of respondents saw no need for improvement whatsoever.
Sebastian Whitton, Director at Regenerate London, commented: “London is one of the most exciting cities in the World and is unique in its ability to welcome such a broad array of people and nationalities. We are a fusion of so many different cultures, beliefs and ways of life. But, while community spirit is strong, we were surprised to discover the low levels of pride felt in the boroughs’ built environment.
“London’s housing plight is desperate and well documented, but is normally reported solely as a need for new homes. Regenerate London will drive delivery of new homes, but this research indicates that regeneration of the built environment is just as important to locals.”
The Blame Game Doesn’t Build Homes
While the media and politicians blame house builders for slow delivery of new homes, developers blame the slow, uncertain and expensive planning process. This poll finds that local Londoners are clear about where they see the hold up to development and regeneration; they blame lack of funding and their local councils. Regenerate London provides part of the solution and by putting funding into local community regeneration in those local boroughs with the biggest need.
Whitton continued: “The blame game doesn’t build homes. And, while we are deeply concerned about the speed at which the planning process moves in the Capital, by targeting our investment well, we believe we can make a difference. London’s boroughs simply must move more efficiently in granting consents if they want to tackle the housing crisis and keep the good will of their communities.
“One in three Londoners already blame their local councils for delaying regeneration. That’s an easy issue to solve. Many are sitting on perfectly suitable sites, occupied by under-utilised or abandoned buildings and while few councils have the capability to develop these sites, working in partnership with commercial entities can deliver and deliver quickly.”
Providing An Opportunity For Locals to Fund London’s Regeneration
Regenerate London is currently raising capital through a new investment bond to purchase both green and brownfield sites in London. Regenerate London makes unutilised or under-utilised land ‘development-ready’ by gaining fully optimised planning permissions for sustainable and regenerative high density, mixed-use developments. The company’s overarching objective is to play an active role in solving London’s housing crisis by building new communities within Greater London based on the guiding principles of regeneration, sustainability and legacy.
Whitton concluded: “London simply must improve its housing stock because the Capital is struggling to meet even current demand. As the housing shortage becomes ever more acute, prices are pushed up and that makes it so much more difficult to get onto the housing ladder. It is already impossible for ordinary working people to buy property in the inner London boroughs, so we need to look in zones three to six. Those involved in development and construction must work ever more closely with the borough councils and with government, pursuing all opportunities. We must find ways of getting the planning wheels to turn more quickly if we are to ease the plight facing London’s growing populace.”
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Journalists requiring further information on the research and/or wishing to speak with Regenerate London should contact:
Phoenix Financial PR
07799 767 468
Journalists wishing to speak to Affinity Global Real Estate should contact:
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the research study
The research study was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Regenerate London plc between 12-14 July 2017 amongst a sample of 1,005 Londoners.
About the Regenerate London Bond
It is intended that the proceeds of the Bond are used to fund the acquisition of land, options on land and the development of land in Greater London and the Home Counties, with a focus on areas impacted by major transport infrastructure initiatives and future transport hubs like Crossrail, where demand for new housing is expected to soar. Crossrail is connecting the outer boroughs with high-speed links to Central London and this new infrastructure revolution will lead to rising prices and planning gains in these areas.
- Income: 7% gross annual interest per annum. One quarter of the interest will be paid every calendar quarter, from the time the investor’s funds have cleared
- Capital: returned in full at maturity
- Term: five years
- Closing date: the current offer will remain open until 31 October (but could close earlier at the Directors’ discretion)
- SIPPs: suitable for SIPPs, subject to approval by the scheme trustees and administrators
- ISAs: not an approved investment for the purposes of investing in an ordinary tax-free ISA
- Minimum investment: £1,000 (multiples of £1,000 thereafter, with no upper limit)