Airspace development is where unused space on rooftops of existing buildings is converted into new homes.
The value of the airspace above any residential or commercial property will depend on size, location and suitability for development. This includes whether the structure is strong enough for further construction and how many units it can reasonably take.
This type of development has been cited as an innovative solution, which most importantly doesn’t encroach on green belt land, but it can only be successful if it fits in with the rest of the building and the area.
Nine facts about airspace development you should know
Amended government rules permit application for prior approval to develop the airspace above buildings with up to a two-storey upward extension of flats.
The building must have been constructed between 1st July 1948 and 5th March 2018.
The building must not be listed, located within a SSSI or similar.
The roof of the extended building must not exceed 7m higher than the existing height.
The extended building must not exceed 30m in height.
The floor to ceiling height must not exceed the lesser of 3m or the height of any existing storeys.
There are important additional considerations adding to the complexity, including technical construction issues and other occupiers/neighbours’ legal rights, including rights of light.
To ensure suitability, a building will require detailed assessment of loading capacity, structure, access and services.
Careful consideration of potentially restrictive issues is required; some of which may be overcome by offering other leaseholders’ incentives such as exterior refurbishment, communal areas, lease extensions or possibly a profit share.
Airspace is a niche development area and we strongly recommend professional advice is taken before committing to an airspace project. When you are ready, RQ Capital can help with property development finance. We have the flexibility of lending terms and are prepared to devote the time required to understanding the specific needs of each development project.