Inspired development can be done, we know it.  Mid-rise housing, small floor-plate offices and shops, interesting public spaces...these are happening all over London, creating new, vibrant parts of our great city.

We agree with many of the proposals in Housing London: A Mid-Rise Solution on why mid-rise makes sense as an approach to density in London, such as:

  • Mid-rise fosters a positive relationship to the street for both residential and commercial spaces - encouraging walkability, diversity of amenities and vibrancy of place.  
  • Mid-rise developments are easier to build and require less specialization - opening up the housing supply market to a greater variety of builders.  
  • Finally, mid-rise housing can be built using more ecologically-friendly, locally-sourced materials, especially in contrast to glass and steel high-rises.

The Goodysyard site is a perfect location for a mid-rise (5-8 story) development of an existing brownfield site.

The Mayor of Hackney has put forward an alterative proposal.  We’re not yet ready to endorse the scheme, but enthusiastically endorse the overall approach: mid-rise, high density, mixed used. Read all about it here.

As Mayor Jules Pipe said:  “There is a much better alternative to develop this site.  The Council worked with a Shoreditch-based firm of architects to draw up a scheme that would be financially viable for the developers and comprise much lower buildings far more in keeping with the unique character of Shoreditch.”

This scheme is well-worth considering, King’s Cross, London's other significant recent brownfield development. Below is a quick comparison of what’s on offer in the proposed Goodsyard development, and why we believe the dynamic growth and self-regeneration of our mixed community would be stunted by the current proposals:

Kings Cross is marked by mid-rise, mixed use and creative buildings, essential to Shoreditch, Tech City and the most vibrant part of London.

The Goodsyard is in a key business area.  This raises an obvious question:  Why is a site that’s less than a tenth the size of King's Cross proposing ten times as much residential (on a relative basis) and a relatively insignificant amount of workspace?  Because high-rise residential units are easy to sell to overseas buyers.