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Construction industry consultant calls for homes over prisons

Posted by Trevor
November 23, 2014 in Residential

A report by multinational engineering corporation WSP Group has suggested that over 600,000 new houses could be built on top of public buildings in London.

The Building Our Way Out of a Crisis paper suggested that 630,000 new flats and apartments could be built in the capital under the scheme, including above prisons.

The figures in the report suggest that only 11% of people in London would be set to live above a prison. However, for other public buildings the figures are much better. Twenty-three percent would be willing to live above a hospital, for example, with the same figure happy to have their home over a school.

Flats above libraries, meanwhile, would appeal to around 63% of Londoners.

Under the scheme, developers and construction companies would refurbish existing office flooring space in public sector buildings, or entirely recreate sites. This would be paid for by the addition of private apartment blocks above the structures.

A director of WSP, Bill Price, said:

“This isn’t about replacing schools and hospitals with apartment blocks, it’s about using the existing land more effectively with the added bonus… It makes so much sense; these sites by their very nature are ideally located for new homes, close to transport and amenities.”

Mr Price went on to question why such a scheme has not been implemented already. Citing the British culture as the most likely reason that it has not yet happened, he went on to say that such schemes are already taking place in other parts of the world.

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