Spurred by the 2012 Olympics, London is undergoing a development boom, with more homes being built now than at any time since the Eighties.
East Village, at the Olympic Park, has been unveiled as the capital’s “newest neighbourhood” (with 2,818 homes and its own postcode, E20), while several other high-profile affordable housing schemes close to Games venues have been approved.
Among these is the first phase of 808 new homes on car park land next to Earls Court Exhibition Centre, which will host the 2012 volleyball tournament. With 77 acres, the redevelopment of the centre is one of the capital’s biggest construction projects, aiming to bring 7,500 homes, two million square feet of commercial and retail space and add 23 acres to the public realm by reclaiming under-utilised land at the complex.
The first phase backs on to the Brompton Cemetery and Eardley Crescent conservation areas and comprises eight modern mansion blocks and terraces of townhouses linked by new streets and garden squares. A five-acre “lost river park” will be re-established.
Apartments will be bigger than average, complying with Mayor Boris Johnson’s new space standards. Typical two-bedroom flats will have 900 square feet of space while townhouses will range up to 2,750sq ft. There are 14 different “house types” and only a small proportion of homes will be studios (of which the Earls Court area has many). Visit www.myearlscourt.com.
Plans have also been approved for Embassy Gardens, a key part of the Nine Elms regeneration zone in Battersea. This development wraps around the site of the new US Embassy and will have 1,982 homes of which 298 will be for affordable rent through Wandsworth council’s housing partners.
The Mayor’s London Plan anticipates up to 16,000 new homes and 25,000 jobs will be created as the 450-acre zone is redeveloped. In 10 years’ time it should look a very different place, a sparkling riverside district barely a mile from Parliament and Sloane Square.
Property agency Knight Frank expects prices in this area to rise 140 per cent by 2016. Two new Northern line stations are expected to open in 2016. One at Sainsbury’s car park at Wandsworth Road and Wilcox Road; the other will be alongside Battersea power station.
A new garden suburb
Close to the leafy slopes of Blackheath and Woolwich Common, venue for the Olympic shooting events, lies Kidbrooke Village, one of the UK’s biggest and most ambitious council estate regeneration programmes, now under way. Demolition of concrete-clad Ferrier Estate is bringing new architecture and new forms of tenure such as shared equity, a departure from the old model of public rented housing. Berkeley Homes is spearheading the £1 billion, 2,475-home project and has Southern Housing Group as a partner.
It is a surprisingly green setting, bordered by handsome Sutcliffe Park, which has a lake and wetland areas. In effect it will be a new modern garden suburb with shops, offices, a school, health centre, sports facilities, a hotel and a new transport interchange at Kidbrooke station, which offers a 15-minute journey time to London Bridge.
Homes at City Point, the first phase, are ready to move into. Apartments and mews houses are set among landscaped courtyards alongside the park. Prices start at £302,500 for two-bedroom apartments with good quality interiors that raise the standard for the area. Call 020 8331 7130. For shared-ownership and rental options, call 0845 612 1271 or visit www.southernatkidbrookevillage.com.
New shared-ownership homes are available, too, in parts of Docklands. Wapping Lane is the biggest scheme, with Quatro the name of the affordable housing element, being sold by Notting Hill Housing Association. Prices start at £81,900 for a 30 per cent share (full price £273,000 for a one-bedroom flat). Call 020 8357 4444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homes at East Village, Stratford (right), will be available after the Olympics, when the athletes have departed and the accommodation is retro-fitted. To register for affordable housing, including shared ownership, visit www.triathlonhomes.com or www.eastvillagelondon.co.uk.