WSP: build towers over rail lines
London’s housing crisis could be solved by building towers over the capital’s railway lines, an engineering consultancy has claimed.
Bill Price, strategic growth director at WSP, told RAIL that he has mapped out the railway lines owned by Network Rail and Transport for London, and calculated that if 12-storey buildings were to be built over 10% of the lines 250,000 new homes could be built.
Price claimed he has identified “20 or 30” suitable sites for development, and that he has backing from the Mayor’s office.
Under his plans, Network Rail and Transport for London would retain the freehold to the land and lease the space to developers.
He added: “I think we are seeing accelerated timescales to do this work. There are some traditional attitudes within TfL and NR about future potential limitations that are being broken down as Government funding is diminishing.
He claimed a 12-storey tower block could be built over a line within three years.