Making Airspace Development a ‘win-win’ for all

30th November 2022

Airspace development benefits

Our ethos at Fruition Properties is centred around collaboration and making sure airspace development brings benefits for freeholders, leaseholders and residents alike.

Airspace development is the creation of new homes in the ‘air-rights’ on top of existing buildings and is a sustainable and innovative way to help solve London’s housing crisis.

A relaxation of the planning rules in 2020 allowing rooftop extensions of up to two storeys without full planning permission has seen more and more freeholders take the opportunity to increase the overall value of their property by building upwards themselves or have sought to sell this asset to a third party.

This was the case recently at an apartment block in Bermondsey where residents were served a Section 5 notice by their freeholder who wanted to sell the roof-space to a third-party developer with the intention of building new flats there. Most leaseholders felt strongly that the prospective sale was being imposed on them and their tenants, and that they had no control nor benefit from the sale and proposed development.

Our ethos at Fruition Properties is that any airspace development should be to the benefit of all stakeholders and therefore we were able to help them purchase their freehold through a process known as collective enfranchisement and with it, their right to develop the airspace.

Working in partnership with the new collective group of leaseholders they now have the opportunity to improve the management of the block and to physically uplift elements of the property, with options such as renewing external render, upgrading balconies and windows and refurbishing communal areas.

These improvements will be facilitated by the construction of new homes directly above the block, which should ultimately benefit all the residents through reduced service charges, improved maintenance and an increase to property values. Truly a win-win for all.