Affordable homes are now available in travel Zone 1 through partnership projects between developers and fair-minded councils concerned about locals being priced out of the centre.
At Elephant & Castle, where jumbo regeneration is finally taking shape, a new residential quarter has been unveiled surrounding London’s largest new park in 70 years. Called Elephant Park, it is billed as a ground-breaking green housing scheme for the inner city, with 360 energy- and water-efficient homes plus rooftop “grow gardens”, all set in a leafy landscape designed for walking, cycling, relaxation and play. Call Lend Lease on 020 3675 9955.
Apartments at Elephant Park, where 360 new homes are growing up around the largest new London park to be constructed for 70 years
Elephant & Castle has a bright future. Town planners want the area to become an integral part of the expanding Southwark riverside district, with pedestrian-friendly links to Borough and Bankside.
JUMBO STEPS FORWARD
A cluster of residential towers is under way and the eyesore pink-coloured shopping centre is to be bulldozed — a crucial step forward. In addition, the notorious roundabout alongside what is Europe’s busiest bus interchange, with 80,000 people a day passing through, is to be ripped out and replaced with a two-way system.
Walworth and South Bermondsey, which border Elephant & Castle and are so close to Piccadilly that they get into the large-print pages of the A to Z, are worthwhile hunting grounds for first-time buyers.
Peabody housing association has a number of schemes under way in these areas, which fall into one of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s designated “priority zones”, earmarked for a regeneration boost. At Coopers Road, off Old Kent Road, new flats cost from £374,000. Call 020 7922 7226. Another scheme of 66 homes in Camberwell Road is launching soon. Due for completion next year are 180 homes, including 61 for shared ownership, at Chambers Wharf, close to Tower Bridge.
Southwark council has started to redevelop the giant Aylesbury council estate, increasing the number of new homes from 2,400 to 4,200, about 50 per cent of which will be for private sale and shared ownership, through Notting Hill housing association. Call 020 8357 4444.
L&G housing association, whose main patch is south-east London, has launched a “Get Priced In” campaign encouraging buyers earning less than £80,000 a year to explore the shared-ownership options available. Visit lqgroup.org.uk.
Lewisham, slightly further out but still in Zone 2, has 15-minute train connections to Canary Wharf and the City, and is bordered by well-heeled Blackheath and historic Greenwich.
Aurora Apartments, close to the town centre, where a major revamp is imminent, has shared-ownership flats priced from £40,625 for a 25 per cent share (full price, £162,500), requiring a five per cent deposit of £2,031. Call Affinity Sutton housing association on 0300 100 0303.
£106,250: buys 25 per cent of a one-bedroom flat at Mondrian, Shoreditch
STAR OF THE EAST
Most people are happy to walk to work if it takes no more than 30 minutes — quicker if jogging or on a Boris bike. You can get fit and save on commuting costs at the same time.
This makes the eastern City fringe a popular place to live as it is close to both the Square Mile and the West End, the main employment centres.
Mondrian is a new development on the site of former Mildmay Mission Hospital in Shoreditch. This, too, has energy-efficiency credentials, with a Fabric First low-carbon construction method, a communal district heating system and triple-glazed windows, all aimed at keeping utility bills low.
One-bedroom apartments cost from £106,250 for a 25 per cent share (full price, £425,000). There is added value in design terms too, with large balconies, full-height glazing and striking, copper-clad roofs. Call Genesis on 0808 118 3131.