London's park-side bargain flats for first-time buyers

Living close to a park eases stress and boosts happiness. We find ideal flats for first-timers near Burgess Park’s 113 green acres, only minutes from London Bridge
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Living near an urban park can make people happier, less stressed-out and generally more satisfied with their lives, according to the latest academic studies.

Research by a team from the University of Exeter tracked UK households between 1991 and 2008 and discovered that the greener the neighbourhood, the more joyful the locals.

Which means the future residents of Parkside should be full of smiles, since the development is just moments away from of one of London’s biggest public parks.

The other reason to be upbeat about this development is the pricing. There are 42 one- and two-bedroom apartments which will be sold on a shared-ownership basis, and the starting price is £59,100 for a 30 per cent share in a one-bedroom flat with a total market value of £197,000.

Two-bedroom flats start from £76,500 for 30 per cent of a property with a market value of £255,000. There are also some three-bedroom flats on the site, priced at £103,500 for 30 per cent, full market price £345,000.


Flats at Parkside are close to 113-acre Burgess Park

Parkside sits just off the Old Kent Road in Southwark, and the area’s most obvious attraction is its proximity to the 113 acres of Burgess Park — to put that into context, Regent’s Park is just under 100 acres. Burgess Park recently had a multimillion-pound facelift, and facilities include a new £1.1 million BMX track, a fitness centre, an ornamental lake and barbecue areas. There are also cricket and tennis clubs based in the park.

On the downside, the Old Kent Road is most certainly not London’s most beautiful thoroughfare. There is, however, plenty going on. Rap star Ms Dynamite recently named Nigerian restaurant 805 as her favourite in London, both for food (“tiger prawns as big as your fist”) and the atmosphere. Local pubs include the Thomas A Becket, a great gastropub overlooking Burgess Park, while the area’s cosmopolitan community is reflected in its range of independent shops. There is also a useful range of chain stores.

Culture is supplied by the South London Gallery, 15 minutes’ walk away, which offers contemporary art exhibitions, live art events and film screenings. For nightlife head to the Bussey Building, a tram depot saved from demolition in 2007 by the community ( and transformed into club-cum-exhibition space with an epic 5,000sq?ft roof terrace and an open-air cinema club.

Local transport links are great. South Bermondsey station is just under a mile away, with trains to London Bridge in four minutes. An annual season ticket costs £1,216.

Parkside is also just over a mile from Queens Road Peckham station (Zone 2), via the Surrey Linear Canal Park, with direct London Overground trains to Canary Wharf in just two stops.

The area is not blessed with a Tube station but this summer London Mayor Boris Johnson agreed to fund a feasibility study into extending the Bakerloo line south through Southwark and Lewisham, which could bring a station to the Old Kent Road.

Ben Mole, senior marketing executive at Family Mosaic (, the housing association running the Parkside scheme, said full completion is expected early in the new year. The flats come with a full complement of white goods, modern kitchens and bathrooms, and oak laminate flooring. Each has at least one balcony — some have two or three — although wisely, those homes which face out on to the Old Kent Road have been equipped with glazed-in winter gardens to protect them from the almost-constant roar of traffic. There is also a communal sixth-floor roof terrace.

“I think the best thing about this development is how close you are to the park,” says Mole. “It is a really nice, green, family-friendly area with good schools, but you have got easy transport into central London, too.”

People already living or working in Southwark will be given priority for the scheme which is earmarked for those on low and medium incomes. For the one-bedroom flats, household income must be no more than £31,881, rising to £37,670 for two-bedroom flats and £43,729 for the three-bedroom properties.

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