Shepherd’s Bush and nearby White City are at the centre of an £8 billion regeneration that will see the already massively popular Westfield London shopping centre expanded with a new John Lewis flagship department store, plus 70 new shops and restaurants and more than 1,500 new homes at the White City Living development.
On the other side of Wood Lane, the iconic former BBC Television Centre with its famous Sixties circular “doughnut” building is part of a large-scale regeneration project by developer Stanhope.
It will bring 950 flats, offices, restaurants and bars, a Soho House-run hotel and a private members club with a rooftop swimming pool.
Imperial College is establishing a new 25-acre research and innovation centre, and more recently the Royal College of Art has announced that it will be opening a new campus at White City Place, a new business park in South Africa Road that has also attracted Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, the online fashion retailer, as its newest tenant.
Five miles west of central London, Shepherd’s Bush, once thought to be the resting place for shepherds on their way to Smithfield, is now solidly suburban, sandwiched between the much wealthier districts of Holland Park and Notting Hill to the east, Hammersmith to the south and Chiswick to the west.
As estate agent Natalie Sims from Savills says, it is the place where flat owners, reluctant to leave London, come to find a family house.
It is primarily residential in character, with rows of Victorian terraces, though it does have an arty, edgy vibe.
Contributing to the mix are the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a top music venue; the Bush Theatre, which pioneers new writing; Bush Hall, a small, intimate concert venue where many famous names in contemporary music started out, and the London College of Fashion in Lime Grove.
Pop megastar Rihanna uses modest Caribbean takeaway, Ochi, in Uxbridge Road for her favourite chicken curry and rice whenever she is on tour in the UK.
The property scene
There will be 950 new homes, including 142 affordable, at Television Centre, Stanhope’s redevelopment of the former headquarters of BBC TV including the conversion of the famous circular “doughnut” building.
The most recent release of 48 one-, two- and three-bedroom flats in the new semi-circular building — overlooking Hammersmith Park and designed by architects AHMM to wrap around the doughnut — went on sale in February with prices starting at £750,000, for completion next summer.
There are still a few “Helios” flats left in the converted round building, priced from £750,000 for one-bedroom homes, £950,000 for two bedrooms, and three-bedroom flats at £1.4 million.
The most expensive penthouse is priced £7 million. Visit televisioncentre.com for more. White City Living in Wood Lane is a St James development of 1,400 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in five acres of open space behind Westfield London shopping mall.
Designed by architects Patel Taylor, it will be launching this summer. Call 020 3797 4139.
Townhouse Mews is a scheme of 12 mews houses on the site of the former Townhouse recording studios where Elton John cut the Diana, Princess of Wales tribute version of his hit single, Candle in the Wind.
A five-bedroom semi-detached house is for sale for £1.95 million and a four-bedroom triplex for £2.4 million. Call 020 3723 2836.
Hammersmith & Fulham council will sell affordable flats at Television Centre at a percentage of the market price, possibly as low as 20 per cent, to first-time buyers on its Home Buy waiting list. They must live or work in the borough and earn less than £90,000. See lbhf.gov.uk/homebuy
Monika Scott, lettings manager at Savills, says her tenants are mainly singles, sharers or couples working in the City; for Hammersmith-based international companies such as L’Oréal or Disney, or at one of the companies based along the easily accessible M4/A40 corridor.
Many of her landlords are families moving out of London — often back to the place where they grew up — but who want to keep an investment in the capital’s property market.
Good state and private schools make Shepherd’s Bush a good place to raise a family.
W12 is the Shepherd’s Bush postcode.
In the Ravenscourt & Starch Green conservation area, Ashchurch Grove and Ashchurch Park Villas have lovely semi-detached bow-fronted Victorian houses with attractive roof parapets mirrored in the front garden walls; Rylett Road and Rylett Crescent have Victorian double-fronted detached houses and semis.
The small Victorian terrace houses in Arminger Road and Ingersoll Road are becoming increasingly popular. Boscombe Road has three-storey bow-fronted semi-detached houses and a strong sense of community.
Up and coming
The Wormholt Estate is south of the A40 and east of Old Oak Road. Designed by the London County Council and influenced by the garden suburb movement, the estate was built between 1912 and 1928.
The simply designed red-brick houses and flats remain relatively affordable and the streets are quaintly named after flowers such as Foxglove, Lilac, Hemlock and Daffodil.
Shepherd's Bush is well connected to the M3, M4, A40 and M40 out of west London. All stations are in Zone 2; an annual railcard to Zone 1 is £1,296.
Shepherd’s Bush and White City are on the Central line Tube; Goldhawk Road and Shepherd’s Bush Market are on the Hammersmith & City line, as is Wood Lane (also Circle).
Shepherd’s Bush is on the Overground, too, with trains to Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction, plus London Midland trains to Watford Junction.
Hammersmith & Fulham council is Labour controlled; Band D council tax for 2017/2018 is £1,007.83.
Shops and restaurants
The Westfield London mall has all the high street brands and chain restaurants, with an added dash of luxury brands such as Anya Hindmarch, Aquascutum, Breitling, Burberry, Prada and Versace, plus a Vue cinema. The older West 12 shopping centre recently lost its Morrisons supermarket but there are branches of Boots, JD Sports, Pizza Express and another Vue multiplex cinema.
The rest of Shepherd’s Bush has mainly independent shops along Goldhawk Road, Uxbridge Road and Shepherd’s Bush Market, which runs between the two roads and along Askew Road.
Goldhawk Road is notable for its many fabric shops, and Polish restaurant Patio is a local institution. Askew Road has the best selection of interesting independent shops and coffee shops, with several bakeries such as sourdough specialist October 26, Japanese bakery Happy Sky and Laveli.
There’s also a branch of The Ginger Pig butchers in Askew Road, plus Max Inc for mid-century furniture; Peckings Records for reggae on vinyl and Sufi for Persian cuisine.
Little Napoli is recommended for sourdough pizza in Uxbridge Road, where Bush Hall has all-day Dining Rooms, and there are queues at lunchtime for Mr Falafel in the market.
Albertine is a long-standing wine bar, recently given a makeover by chef Allegra McEvedy, serving French food in Wood Lane. Shikumen in the four star Dorsett Hotel on Shepherd’s Bush Green is a Chinese restaurant.
Expect long queues for Pergola on the Roof, the bar and restaurant on top of the Television Centre car park in Wood Lane, when it reopens for summer from May 3.
The apartments in the outer ring of the Television Centre development will have views over Hammersmith Park, entrance in Frithville Gardens, which contains the remnants of the Japanese garden designed for the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910.
Popular Ravenscourt Park in Paddenswick Road is one of the council’s flagship parks. It has a children’s paddling pool and a beach in summer, a café, walled flower garden, tennis courts and a bowling green.
Leisure and the arts
Leading fringe venue the Bush Theatre, in Uxbridge Road, promotes new writing. It recently reopened following a refurbishment and the new outside seating area is proving a big hit in dry, sunny weather.
Bush Hall, also in Uxbridge Road, is a former Edwardian dance hall and features an eclectic mix of music and comedy. The O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire at Shepherd’s Bush Green is a leading music venue.
All but one of the local state primary schools are rated “good” or better by the Ofsted education watchdog. The following are “outstanding”: St Stephen’s CofE in Uxbridge Road; Miles Coverdale in Coverdale Road; Brackenbury in Dalling Road; St John XXIII RC in India Way; West London Free School Primary in Cambridge Grove; Ark Conway in Hemlock Road, and Good Shepherd RC in Gayford Road.
The “outstanding” local comprehensive schools are: Cardinal Vaughan Memorial RC (boys, ages 11 to 18) in Addison Road, and Holland Park (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in Airlie Gardens, both in Holland Park; Sacred Heart RC (girls, ages 11 to 18) in Hammersmith Road; and the all-through Ark Burlington Danes Academy (co-ed, ages three to 18) in Wood Lane.
The comprehensive schools rated “good” are: Hammersmith Academy (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in Cathnor Road and West London Free School (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in King Street. Kensington Aldridge (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) in Silchester Road opened in September 2014 and has not yet been inspected by Ofsted.
The private primary schools are: Norland Place (co-ed, ages four to 11) in Holland Park Avenue; La Scuola Italiana a Londra (co-ed, ages three to 11) also in Holland Park Avenue; Bute House (girls, ages four to 11) in Luxemburg Gardens; École Française de Londres Jacques Prévert (co-ed, ages three to 11) in Brook Green and Ravenscourt Park Preparatory (co-ed, ages four to 11) in Ravenscourt Avenue.
There are three high-achieving private secondary schools in nearby Hammersmith: St Paul’s Girls’ (ages 10 to 18) in Brook Green; Latymer Upper (co-ed, ages seven to 18) in King Street; and Godolphin & Latymer (girls, ages 11 to 18) in Iffley Road.