Pilot project with Apex Airspace to build homes on top of existing blocks

Harrow council’s cabinet has agreed to take forward a pilot project to build 48 modular rooftop homes on top of seven tower blocks.

Under the deal, the London local authority will lease the airspace above existing council homes on the Berridge estate to Apex Airspace, a specialist developer of modular rooftop housing.

Apex Airspace will use grant funding from the Greater London Authority to finance due diligence and the planning permission application process and then seek further funding from a lender at a later stage in the project. The council will then buy the completed homes and let them to people in priority housing need.

The council believes the project could be an “exemplar” model for private airspace development in the borough and help it deliver general needs housing despite having a “limited supply” of council-owned land.

The homes, which will be constructed offsite, will “have to meet high standards of energy efficiency to reduce CO2 emissions as well as reduce fuel poverty as required by the London Plan”, a council cabinet report said.

Phillip O’Dell, portfolio holder for housing at Harrow council, said: “We’re excited to be working with Apex Airspace on this new project, helping provide vital new affordable homes using modular construction. We’ve submitted a bid to the GLA for funding for further airspace developments, at sites yet to be determined.” 

Arshad Bhatti, founder and chief executive officer of Apex Airspace, added: “This is a sign of monumental progress in the use of airspace development for local authority affordable housing delivery.

“As the need for affordable housing is on the rise, many providers – including Harrow council – are seeking innovative opportunities and solutions to expand their portfolio. We are delighted to enable housing providers to do so without the need for new land or demolition”

Apex Airspace has previously announced plans to build 10,000 affordable homes over the next decade.