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Network Rail releases sites for housing

Words: Laura Edgar
New build / iStock

Network Rail has launched the first of its planned series of new ‘multi-site land packages’ as well as a range of new measures to improve its work with developers.

The multi-site packages, which are groupings of different development sites, should streamline the process for unlocking land for housing, according to Network Rail.

These packages feature sites in Greater London and the South East, including two sites in Bermondsey, space for residential and commercial developments in Leyton, redevelopment opportunities in Edenbridge, Kent, and new land and an improved station in Bickley, in the borough of Bromley.

Between them, the sites have the potential to deliver 300 housing units.

Network Rail has launched the packages as it works towards its target to deliver land for 12,000 homes by 2020. In total, a quarter of this target has been released, with 200 sites identified for housing, said the organisation, while land for 2,100 new homes has been released this year.

In addition, Network Rail said it would change its way of working with developers by adopting a new approach to insurance and risk cover, a new advisory service and a new service level commitment for asset protection. All changes will be published in full over the next six months.

Sir Peter Hendy, chair of Network Rail, said: “Britain’s railways create economic growth, jobs and housing by enabling connectivity. In addition, use of Network Rail’s land can and should enable more regeneration and housing directly.

“We recognise this means strong and ambitious new partnerships, so Network Rail is changing to make it easier than ever for developers to work with us to deliver exciting projects in and around railway stations and railway land. Developments of this type drive regeneration, and create housing and employment opportunities whilst creating great places for people to live, work and travel.

“We are already partnering with innovative developers who can match our ambition to deliver quality schemes across Britain, and we want to partner with more. This collaboration is a big step forward in our new approach.”

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce, said: “Investment in Greater London is vitally important if our capital is to manage housing and population challenges, and greater collaboration between the public and private sectors is a key way of securing this investment.

“It’s encouraging to see that Network Rail has developed a new approach to its collaboration with developers. We look forward to seeing the results of this land unlocking process soon.”

Image credit | iStock