Shortwave, a 52-seat independent cinema, offers a far more intimate experience than watching a blockbuster at a multiplex. And when the White Cube art gallery moved in, this city fringe was given the ultimate seal of fashionable approval.
© Graham Jepson
The location is also exceptionally central. Bermondsey station is in Zone 2, with Jubilee line services to Canary Wharf in about 10 minutes and Bond Street in 15 minutes. Trains from South Bermondsey railway station take four minutes to reach London Bridge. All these plus points have already inflated prices in this firmly up-and-coming area, putting them out of the reach of most first-time buyers. Loft apartments in former warehouses around Shad Thames and Bermondsey Street regularly sell for £2.5 million.
Shared-ownership homes 200 metres from South Bermondsey station
But for those on a modest budget, there are still options. Notting Hill Housing (nottinghillhousing.org.uk) is set to launch 19 shared-ownership properties at Blueprint, a development being built 200 metres from South Bermondsey station. Because the area is already so expensive, these homes are being sold as 25 per cent shares to make them affordable to first-time buyers.
The development is due to launch in early September 2013, at which point precise prices will be available, but Wendy Gordon, the site’s shared-ownership sales manager, says one-bedroom flats will sell for about £50,000 to £58,000 and two-bedroom homes will be priced in the £67,000 to £75,000 range. There are also two three-bedroom flats, which will be priced at between £80,000 and £82,000. Call 020 8357 4444. The properties are part of a development of 127 homes — the rest will be sold privately or let — on the site of the former Silwood Street estate, and are designed by award-winning PRP architects.
“The key thing about these homes is that they are in a slightly lesser-known part of Southwark,” says Gordon. “It is a chance to invest while it is still up and coming. You are going to get these homes at a great price, and we would expect young singles and professional couples to be the key demographic.”
There is much to recommend Blueprint. The site passes the green space test, since it is only a short walk from the gates of the Green Flag award-winning Southwark Park, which has sports pitches, a boating lake and café. Each flat has its own outside space, including balconies or patios, and there is also a pocket park in the middle of the development, which is handy for the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.
The only downside is that it is close to railway lines, with some properties overlooking the track. In an attempt to mitigate this, the flats have been designed with glazed “winter gardens”, so residents can enjoy greenery without being deafened by train noise.
Priority for the flats will be given to first-time buyers currently living in Southwark, but residents of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich or Lewisham will also be considered. Buyers must have a household income of less than £66,000 to qualify for a one- or two-bedroom flat, or less than £80,000 to apply for a three- or four-bedroom home. A minimum income of £31,881 will be required for the smaller units.
Later this year, L&Q housing association will offer four shared-ownership homes in its St Crispin’s House development in Alscot Road, near Bermondsey Spa Gardens (lqgroup.org.uk).