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Nine Elms Might Not Be The Dystopian Vision Of Empty Flats You Imagined

Nine Elms, Battersea

It is fair to say that Nine Elms does not have the best reputation as far as development areas go.

More than 20,000 homes are being built or have planning in the area, but the perception has been that there is too little affordable housing and too many luxury flats aimed at wealthy overseas buyers, who were likely to leave them empty.

A new report from one of the local authorities that oversees Nine Elms aims to change that perception. Wandsworth Council commissioned a survey of 873 residents living in new homes in Nine Elms, and compared the results to those of similar nearby schemes.

According to the report, the majority of householders are U.K. citizens employed full-time, with earnings profiles broadly similar to the Greater London Authority’s average for the capital, while the overall employment status of Nine Elms residents is in line with the rest of the borough. 

Just more than half of households in Nine Elms where both parents are in work see those parents earn from £10K up to £50K each, while 13% of households are on incomes of less than £20K.

The survey revealed that 72% of children attend state schools. U.K. passport holders accounted for 60% of survey respondents, with another 16% being from the rest of the EU. 

When asked about their previous address, 34% of respondents said it was in Wandsworth, 41% in another London borough, 13% elsewhere in the U.K., and 12% overseas.

The results have to be taken with a pinch of salt: As the council that has approved the schemes being built in Nine Elms, Wandsworth has an interest in arguing that the area is affordable for all existing Londoners.

Wandsworth Council pointed to the results as backing up findings from a report last year which argued that overseas investment in London housing benefited everyone in the capital.