It was announced this week that Lambert Smith Hampton has teamed up with Hamptons International to launch 'Airspace Exchange', a new service helping clients throughout the life of airspace development projects: from appraisal and planning, through to building and sale or letting.
The development of space above existing buildings is not a new idea, but it is one that is growing increasingly popular - especially since securing planning permission became easier thanks to the revised National Planning Policy Framework, which is supportive of this type of development.
Indeed it was confirmed at the end of June that pioneering airspace developer Apex Airspace secured an additional equity investment of £3 m (in addition to a previous £6.3 m investment in 2018) from BGF, the UK's most active investor in growing business. It was reported that this latest wave of funding, which brings Apex’s tally to £22m in 2019, will help fund the delivery of its growing pipeline of opportunities in London, Bristol and Birmingham as well as positioning the company for continued growth.
Most see airspace development as a helpful method of addressing the UK's housing crisis, and indeed Apex have announced they are developing partnerships with councils and housing authorities.
What is also interesting is the potential value airspace development might hold for retailers. In an article in The Grocer in early 2018 Apex said "Grocery is sitting under a goldmine. Untapped air ﬂoating on the London skyline is worth billions to supermarkets, say experts with the potential for hundreds of thousands of new homes to be built above their stores."
Finding the space to help our urban communities live, work and thrive sustainably is one of the central challenges of our time. The solution? Utilise what you already have, and build up, with airspace.