Canals will make a splash

The capital's man-made waterways have been ignored for too long. Now developers and Londoners are moving in
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London’s extensive and long neglected canal network is still being re-discovered by developers hungry for watery locations close to the action.

As in Docklands during the Eighties, there are miles of neglected stretches of waterside that could become attractive residential locations – car-free, with less pollution and noise.

The Grand Union Canal is the main inland waterway in the capital. It comes in from the west, through Brentford and on to Paddington, before joining up with the Regent's Canal and running into the Thames at Limehouse.

Here, the Limehouse Cut spins off in a different direction, heading north-east through Bow, Hackney Marshes and Walthamstow.

The 2012 Olympics is providing a boost. Homes and offices are sprouting up, creating better access to the towpaths and encouraging more leisure uses. Caspian Wharf, in Bow, has 82 apartments, some with views of Canary Wharf. Prices from £210,000. Call Berkeley Homes on 0844 800 1152.

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Wenlock Building, Wharf Road, N1
Wenlock Building, Wharf Road, N1, is a contemporary-design block looming over the canal. Prices from £510,000 to £1,225,000. Call 020 7288 0330.

Live/Work schemes

Islington and Hackney are the focus of much activity. This began piecemeal about five years ago, especially around Wenlock Basin, N1, when loft developers started converting redundant warehouses.

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Since then, several live-work developments have sprouted up. Angel Wharf on Shepherdess Walk has 74 apartments around a central courtyard.

The site is midway between Angel and Old Street underground stations. Prices from £280,000 for one-bedroom canalside flats.

"Some owners have failed to complete and the apartments are coming back onto the market at a sensible price," says Nick Davies of estate agent Thomson Currie. Call 020 7354 5224.

City Basin, off City Road, is second only in size to Paddington Basin. It has been an untapped resource for years but regeneration of the nine-acre basin is under way. The aim is to open up the basin and turn it into a mixed-use estate of homes, businesses, recreational outlets and a boat club.

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High Point Village, Hayes
From £138,950: High Point Village in Hayes, by the Grand Union Canal (0845 351 2345)
Some 900 new homes are planned. Two residential skyscrapers at the north-western end of the basin will form a "gateway" from City Road.

Wenlock Building on Wharf Road is a contemporary-design block looming over the canal. Glamorous penthouses have huge terraces. Prices from £510,000 to £1,225,000. Call Chesterton on 020 7288 0330.

On the other side of London, in Hayes, canalside homes cost from £138,950 at High Point Village alongside the Grand Union Canal. Call Thames Valley Housing on 0845 351 2345.

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