Analysis carried out by the real estate adviser suggested that the housing shortage in London could be partly accommodated by increasing the density of existing places. London needs to build some 50,000 new homes a year over the next 20 years to fulfil the needs of residents in the capital.
By integrating existing estates into neighbouring houses in a street-based pattern, Savills said the living environment for existing and future residents could be improved, while creating better value for local authorities.
The ‘complete streets’ model could also create greater life chances and employment opportunities for residents, the report suggested.
Currently the conventional approach to estate renewal involves replacing an existing site with tower blocks, which the report said failed to improve both the neighbourhood and density.
It added that the alternative approach would require long-term capital funding rather than short-term debt-reliant funding.
The findings come shortly after the Sunday Times published an article by David Cameron on the benefits of regenerating estates.
Cameron announced that the government will work to transform 100 housing estates in Britain. He added that some will be required to be knocked down and built again, with others having changes to layout, upgraded facilities and local road and transport link improvements.
He explained that an advisory panel would establish a set of binding guarantees for tenants and homeowners so they are protected.
Yolande Barnes, Savills’ research director who led the analysis, said the complete streets model would cost less to build than new high-mass blocks in open space.
“A complete street neighbourhood will create a better, more desirable place to live and a better asset for the local authority or housing association land owners than contemporary regeneration practices,” she said.
“This report challenges the housing industry to think differently about development, estate renewal and estate regeneration in order to improve life chances for many of London’s residents and to create a sustainable income for local authorities.”