East London developments

How the Olympics helped kick-start east London development schemes

The 2012 Olympic Games in London has been responsible for a number of London development projects, one property developer has claimed.

Roger Madelin, head of the Canada Water Development for British Land, said the games helped to kick-start several new developments across the capital.

Speaking at the Architect@Work event at London’s Olympia, Roger said: “If London hadn’t [staged] the Olympics, [it] wouldn’t have finished the transport system, so developing King’s Cross would have been much more difficult.

“[Staging] the Olympics in London has been the best thing this city has done for decades.

“Without the Olympics, Stratford wouldn’t be where it is [in terms of development].

“The east side of London wouldn’t have [happened].

“The old Thames Gateway wouldn’t be happening and King’s Cross would not have been happening.”

The Olympic Park in Stratford is undergoing a number of changes, with the stadium itself having been redeveloped into a football stadium for West Ham United, despite the cost of doing so being criticised.

London Stadium
The Olympic Stadium is now home to West Ham United

However, parts of the Olympic Park are being transformed into new housing with three firms merging to develop the former athletes’ village.

Away from Stratford, east London has seen a number of major developments since the Olympics, while the Crossrail development is helping to trigger a house price boost in the area.

Meanwhile, 10,000 homes are set to be developed in nearby Barking with 50% of the properties being affordable.

The Barking development is set to provide a major housing boost to east London

James Bloom, managing director of development finance at Masthaven, felt that the substantial regeneration of east London following the Olympics had helped make a valid contribution to development in the capital.

“Any project of this size is bound to have a positive effect on the supply of new homes and such a regeneration of an area is only positive for London.

“We hope that the government will support similar regeneration measures in other parts of London with grants, more relaxed S106 requirements and assistance through the planning process.”

Michael Dean, principal at Avamore Capital, added that the change in perceptions of east London from the Olympics has helped shape its destiny and, as a result, seen a big increase in development across the city.

“Significant investment in infrastructure, combined with public and private investment around the Stratford area (eg Westfield) has shifted the centre of gravity of London eastwards. 

“With proportionally the most available development land relative to the rest of the city, east London has always had the potential to see a big increase in development. 

“However, previously capital values per sq ft were insufficient to justify large-scale development projects.”

However, Michael did point out that it hasn’t just been the Olympics that has kick-started London’s development.

“…The Olympics is responsible only for a small part of the wider London development market’s recent performance and one would say that undersupply of existing properties, capital flight from abroad, a booming local economy and the emergence of the London tech scene have had a much greater impact.”

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