Sell out ALEP Lecture examines skyward development – is it the answer to the UK’s housing crisis and how it would impact leasehold enfranchisement?

  • ALEP Lecture - expert panel
  • Host - Damian Greenish

The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) Spring Lecture titled ‘Up on the Roof – Developing Development Value’ has been deemed a great success by attendees.  

Held at No.11 Cavendish Square, more than 200 professionals representing the leasehold enfranchisement sector joined together to discuss and debate how skyward development presents both opportunities and challenges for the sector.  

The tone of the Lecture was set by the government’s recent technical consultation, Planning reform: supporting the high street and increasing delivery of new homes, which examined ways to simplify the existing planning system to deliver more much-needed housing. Proposals for a new permitted development right allowing buildings to be extended upwards to create new homes was highlighted in the consultation.  


The Lecture considered the repercussions skyward development could have for the leasehold sector and analysed the complexities surrounding ownership and collective enfranchisement.  

Christopher Buckle, Director of Residential Research at Savills, kicked off proceedings by presenting a market overview, highlighting the UK’s housing crisis, reasons for the short-term slowdown in the housing market (currently due to the uncertainties around Brexit, and in the longer-term around affordability), insufficient land availability in London and greenbelt areas, and how skyward development could be a way to mitigate the shortage.  

Robert Holden, Geospatial Analyst at Knight Frank set the scene for the newest frontier of urban development and the practicalities and viability of developing from the roof upwards to create more housing in London.  

Barrister Mark Loveday presented an exposé of the important recent Upper Tribunal decision in the case of Queen Court followed by a debate chaired by barristers Piers Harrison and Robert Orr-Ewing which sought delegates’ views on thought-provoking questions surrounding skyward development and the technicalities of putting it into practice.

Host Damian Greenish concluded the event and commented: “The lecture was an informative assessment of the state of the UK housing market and insight into the possibilities of skyward development. More housing is desperately needed – particularly in London, as planning regulations are not keeping up with demand. Supply of land is finite, but airspace is not. Therefore, we must assess if skyward development can be achieved without fundamentally changing London’s landscape.”  

ALEP Director, Mark Chick, said: “Skyward development presents a new and exciting dimension to the leasehold enfranchisement sector. Recent cases have proved that this is fast becoming a topical issue that will no doubt impact professionals in the sector. The Lecture was a huge success and a great testament to ALEP’s commitment to promote best practice by highlighting significant issues to its members and by offering guidance and advice that can be applied to everyday situations they encounter.”  

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