Coming soon: a new London district with 18,000 new homes, from £250,000

A massive housing push is creating a new district between Clapham and Battersea, with 18,000 new homes and a major revamp of Europe’s busiest railway station at its heart.
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This week, plans are unveiled for a transformed Clapham Junction, linked to a new Northern line Tube station and the proposed Crossrail 2, with a green pedestrian and cycle route linked with Wandsworth Common. At least 18,000 new homes will be built during the next decade in Wandsworth borough, more than anywhere else in London. 

This bold initiative will include at least 5,000 low-cost homes, including new architecture creating pint-sized starter homes in modern blocks with shared social facilities.

The council is also promoting a new private rented market. The first of these rental homes is at a former Christie’s Fine Art Storage warehouse, and will offer shared ownership by helping middle-income young Londoners to part-buy a property on the open market. Even redundant council-owned plots of land will be offered to local people to use to build their own homes.


It is the biggest housing push since the Eighties, when Wandsworth Council turned Tory, embraced the Right to Buy programme and changed the area’s demographics  by ushering in the Nappy Valley generation.

A newly created 57-acre housing zone covering the area from Clapham Junction to the Battersea waterfront is the main focus. Plans include Jubilee Bridge, a new pedestrian and cycle crossing to Fulham.

St John’s Way is the first of the new crop of developments — 540 homes, a mix of private and shared-ownership flats and houses launching on March 28. Prices will be revealed later this spring. Call Hamptons on 020 7346 5804.

Cleaning and greening: Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction has a distinct identity, allying itself with Battersea rather than Clapham. Now it is getting a much-needed facelift. Always dominated by its vast railway station, the interchange remains Europe’s busiest, with up to 2,000 trains a day stopping or passing through. The resulting hurly-burly has set the tone of what has been a stubbornly ungentrified local centre. 

Arding & Hobbs department store, now part of the Debenhams chain, operates from a splendid listed Edwardian Baroque-style building, but the shopping centre is generally far from glamorous. Wandsworth Council is lobbying for the Northern line extension from Kennington to Nine Elms to continue to Clapham Junction. The area’s status as a priority housing zone has strengthened the council’s hand. Transport for London has already earmarked the station as a Crossrail 2 interchange. 
The creation of a new neighbourhood at Battersea Power Station has sparked regeneration stretching from Battersea Park, above, to scruffy Clapham Junction. IMAGE: REX

Regeneration proposals include a new pedestrian plaza and shopping hub on Grant Road, which will boost a gritty patch that has always been considered the wrong side of the tracks. A new library, leisure centre and park are coming, and the goal is to stitch together neighbourhoods between Clapham Junction and the river and Wandsworth town centre. The Winstanley and Old York Road council estates are to get a revamp, with new blocks built and mixed-tenure housing introduced — private flats and shared ownership as well as social rent homes.

All this serves as a counterbalance to the awesome construction along neighbouring Nine Elms along the Thames, dominated by born-again Battersea Power Station, where many of the new homes have been snapped up by investors and wealthy international buyers.

Bordering the power station quarter is a far less enticing area where Battersea Exchange, a scheme by Taylor Wimpey, is set to transform derelict railway arches and create 290 homes plus a new primary school. To register, call DTZ on 020 3296 2222.

Regeneration down to a fine art
The redevelopment of the Christie’s warehouse is bringing 510 homes, including 114 flats for private rent. The latter “will be reserved for local people and offered on tenancies of up to five years to give more security than is normally found on the open market,” says Sarah McDermott, planning committee head. A new cultural space is also being created at the site.

Peabody is offering shared-ownership flats at three developments: Elmwood Court, Chancery Building and Carters Yard in Wandsworth High Street. To register, call 020 7021 4842.

And at Battersea Reach, a swish riverside scheme, one-bedroom flats cost from £105,625 for a 25 per cent share (full price, £422,500). Call Notting Hill Housing Association on 020 8357 4444. Shared ownership flats will be available soon at Osiers Place, set back from the river by Wandsworth Park. Call Paragon on 0300 123 2221.

Pick a pocket
The first of the new breed of small and affordable starter homes are likely to be built at Mapleton Crescent in Wandsworth town centre, where Pocket Living, a private developer, has submitted a planning application for 63 flats. Pocket has carved a niche by selling discounted flats to middle-income Londoners “salaried out” of social housing and priced out of the mainstream property market.

Flats typically cost from £250,000, which Pocket Living claims is a 20 per cent discount on local market prices. How does it achieve this? First, by targeting smaller infill plots of land avoided by developers scared off by the customary planning requirement to provide on-site social housing. Because of its “do-gooder“ brand, Pocket Living is allowed to build higher-density schemes of entirely private flats.

Second, the flats it sells are “perpetually” below market value.  A restrictive covenant in the lease means owners have to pass on the 20 per cent discount when they sell. 

And new buyers must be within the eligible income bracket — less than £66,000. Typically, buyers are singles or couples with a combined income of about £40,000. Only first-time buyers are eligible, and owners are not allowed to sub-let flats.

Third, factory design and space-saving ideas mean smaller, but functional flats of about 400sq ft can be built cheaper. Call 020 7291 3683.

In stark contrast to the Pocket Living scheme in Wandsworth town centre is the Ram Quarter, a redevelopment of Young’s eight-acre brewery, which for generations has been enclosed by high walls, cut off to the public and corralled in by a car-clogged one-way system hostile to pedestrians.

More than 600 homes are being built alongside restored heritage buildings that will incorporate a museum with original machinery and a micro brewery, while a new boulevard with shops, bars and restaurants is being cut through the site alongside River Wandle. About half the area will be open public space, with neat courtyard gardens and a market square. Prices from £435,000. Call 0800 0886 777.

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