Transport for London (TfL) has renamed its property arm, which has been temporarily known as TTL Properties, to the easier to remember Places for London — which just happens to abbreviate to PfL.
The holding company, TTL Properties, was set up back in 2014 as a legal entity to hold TfL’s shareholding in the Earl’s Court housing development and was only intended to be a back office name, not a public facing one. When TTLP became financially independent of TfL in April 2022, it was known that they needed to come up with a new name, and Places for London is now the developer’s customer-facing name.
The aim of the company is to build homes and commercial space in London, and then a share of the profits are paid to TfL to invest back into the public transport network.
Across the capital, Places for London has identified capacity on its land for 20,000 homes, with the ambition to start on-site on all of these by 2031 with a target of 50 per cent affordable housing on average across its developments. Work has already started on sites across London for more than 3,350 homes, with more than 800 homes already completed.
Although much attention has been focused in recent years on car park redevelopments, the company says that car parks represent just 8 percent of its assets, with the rest being a mix of arches, depots and industrial sites.
As a property developer, it is going to be subject to the same planning constraints as other developers in the city, but will have access to TfL assets, such as the car parks and railway arches. They also recently signed an agreement with Network Rail to combine their sites when they sit next to each other into single larger property development sites.
A transport company, building homes isn’t new, as property development alongside railways has a long history, but had somewhat fallen out of favour when the Victoria line was built. It started to come back when the Jubilee line extension was built, but on a fairly small scale, to keep costs down.
It’s only in the past decade or so that London has re-adopted a modern version of what London has done before – from the first bridges across the Thames to the expansion of roads and later railway into Metro Land — all driving property development alongside expanding transport links.
The medium term target set that Places for London (PfL) is to aim for is to grow recurring income from £81m to £162m per year for TfL, and growth in asset value from £2.1bn to £4.0bn, to be delivered by 2034.