For anyone looking for a good-value first home, for the 30,000 people who live locally and work at nearby Heathrow airport, and for the Stockley Business Park, there's good news about West Drayton: its days as a dreary suburban outpost are numbered.
With its surrounding countryside and excellent road and air links, West Drayton, part of the London Borough of Hillingdon, has always had its fans, but the arrival in 2017 of Crossrail, the capital's new east-to-west rail link, is likely to see the area transformed.
'West Drayton is one of six areas tipped to do best out of the Crossrail boom'
West Drayton will be one of the stations on the new route running from Maidenhead to Canary Wharf and beyond, providing a quick, direct commute to central London, the Square Mile and Docklands. As such, it is seen as a potential property hotspot, especially as values are at a fairly low level now. Investors are hovering, expecting to see a price uplift long before the opening of Crossrail.
High Point Village is a new canalside scheme right next to Hayes and Harlington, a future Crossrail station that will also have a spur to Heathrow. This is a Docklands-style scheme of modern apartments with concierge, valet parking, health spa, bars and restaurants being built by developer Ballymore. Completion is due this year. Prices are from £159,000. Call 0800 092 7070.
- © Tim Hodges
Spanning 11 acres, Parkwest has lowrise apartment blocks grouped around landscaped squares. It is modernish in style and fits unobtrusively into the suburban setting. There is a gym, 24-hour concierge and car club.
Balwinder Gill, 26, is one of 70,000 people who work at Heathrow. He and his wife Gurinderjit, a recently qualified barrister, have bought their first home together; a one-bedroom flat at Parkwest.
"We plan to stay here for a few years before starting a family and then move into a house," says Balwinder. "But we will keep this property as an investment. It seems a no-brainer. It takes me five minutes to get to work. The development is not under the flight path, so there is no noise."
Parkwest apartments cost from £179,950. Show homes are open for viewing. Call 01895 449009.
West Drayton is one of six areas tipped by Knight Frank to do best out of the Crossrail boom. The others are Hayes, Southall and Hanwell (all in the so-called "Heathrow Quarter"), Abbey Wood in south-east London and Stratford.
The Ministry of Defence has a presence in this part of west London and has submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of the 110-acre RAF Uxbridge site. The proposal includes 1,425 homes, a theatre and parkland.
Drayton Garden Village (a new take on the successful Thirties garden villages; right), with 775 homes, GP surgery, care home, green spaces and a tree-lined avenue to the town centre, is one of several developments likely to transform the area.
Inland Developments is proposing to build the "village" on the 31-acre former National Air Traffic Services headquarters and hopes to secure planning consent by May this year.