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Electric Vehicles Open Up Possibility Of 'Enormous Amount' Of New Urban Development

CGA Experience's Chris Garthwaite, Ballymore's Roger Black, TfL's Peter Elliott, London Borough of Barnet's Jamie Robinson, Royal Borough of Greenwich's Rumi Bose and Socius' Barry Jessup

Transport for London is looking at the possibility of bringing forward new residential development on top of its network of bus garages as the growth of electric vehicles opens up new sites for urban development.

TfL Head of Property Development Peter Elliott revealed at a Bisnow event the organisation was working on electrifying its bus network, a measure that would make building above bus garages more viable.

“It gives us the opportunity to build above places that are now going to be quiet and clean,” Elliott told the audience at Bisnow's Town Centre Redevelopment event held at the Royal College of General Practitioners on 1 December.  “It means there’s an enormous amount of residential we can bring forward.”

During the day, garages could be used to charge up electric parcel delivery vehicles and bikes he said, adding, “They are going to need a lot of juice."

Elliott said there is a network of 78 bus garages that TfL uses in London, not all of which it owned itself. 

Combining them with residential development is inherently a long-term strategy, however — TfL has a target of electrifying its bus fleet by 2030 at the earliest as part of its wider net-zero strategy. 

TfL is one of London’s largest landowners, with holdings totalling 5,500 acres, or about 1.5% of the UK capital. It has plans to build as many as 20,000 new homes over the next decade, with a commercial and residential development pipeline totalling 20M SF.

Its existing portfolio and development and land assets are valued at £1.7B, The Guardian reported in August.

As part of a settlement with the government over a new funding package, TfL is examining creating a standalone property company that would bring forward its development pipeline. The total number of homes that could be built on TfL land is estimated to be as high as 46,000. 

Related Topics: Electric Vehicles, TfL