Places for London: TfL rebrands property firm as it looks to deliver thousands of affordable homes a year

 (Barratt London.jpg)
(Barratt London.jpg)

Transport for London’s property firm is to be rebranded as “Places for London” amid hopes it will deliver thousands of affordable homes a year across the capital.

It has enough land, including on Tube station car parks, for 20,000 new homes – and a target to start them all by 2031.

Its aim is to become one of the largest and most important property firms in London.

It has already completed 800 homes, including the 350-home Blackhorse View development with Barratt London and L&Q on a former car park opposite Blackhorse Road station in Walthamstow.

Work has begun on a further 3,366 homes, including 454 near Wembley Park and 664 at the Bollo Lane site near Chiswick Park.

Others are planned in Earl’s Court, in Edgware town centre – where almost 3,500 are envisaged – and in Barkingside.

More than 440 homes are expected to be completed this year, including 343 in the first phase of the Kidbrooke development in Lewisham.

In November, a partner will be sought to build 1,300 homes on the Limmo peninsula near Canning Town station.

Places for London also wants to progress efforts to build 351 homes on the car park at Cockfosters station. The proposals, which would involve building four tower blocks of up to 14 storeys, were vetoed last year by the then Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The aim is for an average of 50 per cent of all homes built by Places for London to be classed as “affordable”.

But the rebranding comes with the London property market in near crisis due to the soaring cost of materials and of mortgage interest rates, and post-Grenfell requirements for tall buildings.

There has been a “dramatic fall” in the number of new homes starting construction – only 3,900 private homes for sale were begun between April and June, and 240 rental properties – the lowest number on record.

Last month the Conservatives claimed that only three City Hall-subsidised affordable homes had been started over that three-month period.

The new name aims to increase Places for London’s visibility among Londoners and awareness of its mission to create “thriving, connected places”. However there are no plans for it to be known as PfL.

Places for London already has more than 3,300 homes under construction.

The new name was registered at Companies House in July but will be formally unveiled next week at the London Real Estate Forum.

The organisation was established in 2014 TTL Properties Limited and became financially independent of TfL last year, though TfL remains the sole shareholder.

It is required to generate profits to reinvest in London’s public transport network, including from commercial property such as Tube station outlets, above-station developments and firms that rent space in railway arches.

It is budgeted to generate £83m this year in gross property income – and is currently almost £4m ahead of budget.

Graeme Craig, chief executive at Places for London, said: “Places for London is a name that better reflects our ongoing relationship with Transport for London and our purpose and will be simpler for our customers to understand.

“We are excited to increasingly be one of London’s most important landowners - delivering new homes and improvements for communities across the capital.”