Once avoided by home buyers because of its gang crime and notoriety as the “murder capital of England”, Harlesden is changing and the area’s new potential is slowly being recognised.
Among the newcomers are BBC staff and junior City workers in search of housing association fair rents, shared-ownership deals and flats priced below the £250,000 stamp duty threshold.
£225 MILLION REGENERATION
Harlesden still has a hard urban edge, but the town centre is getting a facelift, part of a £225 million regeneration initiative that is seeing Stonebridge council estate’s grim towers replaced by 1,400 mixed-tenure low-rise homes and a community hub.
Spring is the latest phase of homes at the reincarnated estate, called New Stonebridge Park. It offers a mix of studios, apartments and three-bedroom houses priced from £220,000.
£220,000: flats at Spring, the latest phase of homes at New Stonebridge Park in Harlesden. Call Hyde housing association on 0845 606 1221
Development is due for completion next year, and the centrepiece is a distinctive rotunda apartment building with communal roof terrace and set in landscaped gardens bordering a re-routed canal.
Incentives such as furniture packs and legal fee refunds are being offered to off-plan buyers. Call Hyde housing association on 0845 606 1221 for details.
Local estate agents look optimistically at the major commercial development emerging at nearby Park Royal, but it is Old Oak, a 195-acre wilderness of railway freight depots and the proposed site of a transport super-hub for Crossrail and HS2, that will one day set the seal on regeneration here. There are plans for up to 24,000 new homes, 50,000 jobs and a new Queen’s Park Rangers football stadium.
DISCOVERING DOLLIS HILL
Beyond Harlesden is Dollis Hill. This solidly suburban enclave, connected by the Jubilee line to central London and Canary Wharf, is being discovered by smart singles and young couples.
Conversion of a listed Victorian school, Shortcroft Mead Court in Cooper Lane, has spawned affordable homes with a difference. Prices start at £275,000, or £68,750 for a 25 per cent shared-ownership stake. Call Genesis housing association on 0800 542 7243.
Also in Dollis Hill is the first project funded by the Mayor’s Housing Covenant, a low-cost homes initiative. Langhorne Place is moments from revamped Gladstone Park, the area’s main green space, and offers 160 flats for private sale, shared ownership and rent. Prices start at £235,000. Call Network Group on 0300 373 3000.
The Lexington, in the more sought-after NW11 postcode, has courtyard flats, a modern mansion block and mews houses with underground parking, concierge and communal space. From £455,000. Call Affinity Sutton housing association on 0845 6060765.