Official opening of DPD in Newham

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has appointed Savills to help it balance the need for housing and industrial land in the capital.

Savills will create an investment strategy to encourage intensive land use, through multi-storey warehousing and mixed-use projects – the GLA is considering using part of its £250m Land Fund, created last December, for this purpose.

Rory Brooke, Savills’ head of economics, said the aim is to create the same amount of floorspace and capacity on less land, freeing up the remainder for housing.

“There is a need to understand what is holding back this new market and what can be done to encourage new schemes,” he commented.

Deputy mayor for housing and residential development James Murray added: “This work will help identify ways the GLA can intervene to free up more land for housing, while ensuring we protect and strengthen industrial capacity.”

Encourage development

The GLA is also trying to encourage industrial development through its East Plus initiative with Segro, which involves redevelopment of 86 acres of brownfield land spread across five sites in East London.

A 45,000 ft2 urban logistics depot for DPD was officially opened at Segro Park Newham in early May (pictured) and DHL has signed up for a 51,500 ft2 facility to be built at the same site.  Segro plans to deliver a further 480,000 ft2 in the next three to four years under the initiative, which could eventually involve the development of 1.4 million ft2.

Segro chief executive David Sleath said: “In the rush to build tens of thousands of new homes in London we must not forget that the families who move in will need jobs close to where they live. Sustainable regeneration means that there must be high-quality, employment spaces alongside new homes.

“Further, over the next 20 years London will need much more industrial space for ecommerce and logistics in order to keep the capital’s economy running.”

These developments came as Gazeley announced plans for a three-storey warehouse totalling 426,000 ft2 on a six acre site at Silvertown in London’s Docklands. It will be the first such unit to be built speculatively in the UK.