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.
HACKNEY’S ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL
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.”
KINGS CROSS VS THE GOODSYARD
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.