London Density

Tower blocks are out – time to reinvent high density housing?

13 March 2017

With a population expected to exceed 10 million by 2036, London faces an exponential demand for housing. If we are to accommodate this growth within London’s boundaries we will have to increase the density at which new housing is built.

While London’s average population density is 55 people a hectare, it varies considerably across London boroughs, from 21 people a hectare in Bromley, to 151 in Islington.  At a more local level there are areas of Westminster with more than 277 residents a hectare, whereas there are fewer than 2 residents a hectare in some areas of Bromley.

Constructing more high rise buildings is not the only way to intensify land use, a mix of mid-rise buildings, mansion blocks and terraced housing can be a very efficient use of land. London’s central neighbourhoods like Chelsea, are a good example.


The London Assembly Planning Committee meets tomorrow to examine the different sustainable ways to provide housing without compromising on quality.

  • What are the key factors in making high density housing schemes successful? 
  • How are architects and developers responding to the pressure for increasing density?
  • What new policy in the next London Plan is needed to help support increasing density sustainably?


The guests are:

  • Lin Cousins, Director, Three Dragons
  • Crispin Kelly, Baylight
  • Elliot Kemp, Senior Strategic Planner, GLA
  • Jennifer Peters, Strategic Planning Manager, GLA
  • Pieter Zitman, Mix Developments


The meeting will take place on Tuesday 14 March from 10:00am in Committee Room 5 (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend and the meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the meeting discussion using #AssemblyPlanning and #DenseLondon

Notes to editors

  1. Full agenda papers.
  2. Tony Devenish AM, Chair of the Planning Committee, is available for interviews. See contact details below.
  3. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Sonia Labboun on 020 7983 5769.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.