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https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2022/06/09/how-skyroom-is-helping-landowners-deliver-housing-in-london/

How Skyroom is helping landowners deliver housing in London

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A Skyroom development in Southwark, London. Artistic impression.

Skyroom was a participant in the Geovation Accelerator Programme in 2018 – a programme which provides geospatial and PropTech start-ups with grant funding and six months of intensive support, backed by HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey.

Did you know that 70% of the cost of a home in London is not its four walls but the land it’s built on? (Rise Up, UCL, 2018)

The competition for land in London is fierce and development is costly. As a result, supply has not kept up with demand. This means that key workers, such as our nurses, teachers, firefighters, and police officers, can’t find affordable accommodation near to where they work.

How can Skyroom help?

Skyroom is a technology, design and airspace development company founded in 2018 with a mission to improve the lives of key workers in London by delivering affordable, sustainable and beautiful homes near where they work.

We help landowners originate, design and deliver homes in the airspace above existing buildings in their portfolio.

Building upwards, not outwards, we achieve a more sustainable model of urban development, which preserves existing buildings, and prevents urban sprawl.

How the Geovation Accelerator Programme helped us

Skyroom joined the Geovation Accelerator Programme, co-funded by HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey, in October 2018. We benefitted from funding and six months of intensive support including workshops and one-to-ones to fast track our growth.

How we use data

We use HM Land Registry data - including the UK House Price Index, property ownership data and freehold and leasehold data - to identify buildings in a landowner’s portfolio which are suitable for airspace development.

Using HM Land Registry data, Skyroom can accelerate the earliest stages of development by ranking sites in order of opportunity and risk.

Key Worker Homes Fund

Currently we are working with two London boroughs - Lambeth and Waltham Forest - who were successful in applying for the £100 million Key Worker Homes Fund. The fund offers them technical expertise and capital to deliver airspace developments above buildings in their portfolio. Early-stage designs indicate that over 111 new homes could be delivered across two sites, 50% of which would be affordable and allocated to key workers.

Successes

Skyroom is a trusted partner to public and private sector organisations including FTSE 100 companies, housing associations, local authorities and NHS trusts. At the time of writing, Skyroom has more than 1,030 homes in the development pipeline.

In 2020 Skyroom secured planning permission to build 15 homes in the airspace above an apartment building in Southwark (see picture). The development will see four storeys added to the current three-storey building, together with rooftop gardens which will benefit the residents and encourage biodiversity.

By 2030, Skyroom aims to have provided London’s key workers with 10,000 homes, in partnership with London's major landlords.

Find out more about Skyroom.

Applications to join the next Geovation accelerator programme cohort will open in the summer.

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