From Battersea to Docklands and Tower Bridge to Islington: London's eight key regeneration hotspots

Huge regeneration in London over two decades has been opening up previously closed pockets of the capital, transforming outdated industrial sites into exciting new neighbourhoods in some of the city's most iconic locations.

New streets have been shaping London since the Romans built a settlement on the north bank of the Thames. After the Great Fire of London, Christopher Wren had a fine old time with new town planning, Inigo Jones jumped on the bandwagon with Covent Garden, joining streets to squares, and John Nash built terraces for toffs around Regent’s Park.

The Victorians loved streets, creating legions of them in the inner city and the suburbs. Now massive regeneration in London over two decades has given developers and town planners another opportunity to pave the way to the future, opening up previously closed pockets of the capital and transforming outdated industrial sites into smart neighbourhoods.

1. Tower Bridge
Duchess Walk is the capital’s latest new street, a 170-metre promenade lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. It cuts through a 376-home development, One Tower Bridge — formerly a coach park — where a 900-seat theatre and luxury hotel are also being built.

The car-free avenue provides a direct route to the Thames from Bermondsey and offers a dramatic new sight-line of Tower Bridge. Pedestrianised lanes intersect with the street, an architectural reference to the cobblestoned Shad Thames warehouse district bordering the development. Rather than a sterile, lifeless enclave, the site is dynamic and atmospheric, brought to life by pedestrians and softened by apartment blocks with welcoming entrance foyers. Prices from £1,475,000. Call 020 7871 0011.

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Green streets: a linear park is being built at the high-end Embassy Gardens development at Nine Elms

2. Battersea
The Electric Boulevard has been unveiled at born-again Battersea Power Station. This wide, sinuous street has a two-storey terrace of retail and restaurant premises, above which “starchitects” Norman Foster and Frank Gehry have designed apartments. 

Foster + Partners say that Battersea Roof Gardens will be one of the largest roof gardens in the capital, while Prospect Place is Gehry’s first permanent building in London.

The boulevard forms the main gateway to this 42-acre quarter. Potential buyers can view the plans with pioneering 3D technology at the marketing suite. Prices in the current phase start at £1.2 million for two-bedroom flats. Call 020 7062 1751.

3. Fitzrovia
Rathbone Square, a scheme of 142 homes, offices and shops, replaces a postal depot and creates a new cross-site pedestrian route and substantial public space. Its two L-shaped buildings have commercial premises at ground level and gel with the surrounding network of streets. Penthouses start at £4,475,000. Call 020 7580 1100. 

Fitzrovia used to be the centre of London’s rag trade and today is popular with media firms. Its residential population is relatively small, but fast-growing, and values are being boosted by the forthcoming Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station, due in 2018.

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From £715,000: 263 homes at Islington Square with a new pedestrian route with shops and pavement cafés. Call 020 7861 5499

4. Victoria
Most people know Victoria because of the busy train station popular with commuters, but the transformation of the area from commercial to domestic will see thousands of people making it home. It is becoming a hub for fashion, and smaller scale media and digital businesses integrated into apartment blocks. Cardinal Place, a scheme of offices and shops, with public gardens, replaces the previous windswept high street of cold concrete office blocks .

A cluster of buildings forming a 5.5-acre island site amid the traffic swirl is being transformed into Nova, a smart complex of five buildings including a block of 205 apartments, which will bring a new pedestrian link between the station, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Parks. Prices from £760,000. Call 020 7409 8701.

5. Covent Garden
New streets are part of a residential renaissance amid the tightly packed passageways of Covent Garden. Heritage buildings are being converted into homes by developer Capco, which owns the listed colonnade market area and dozens of surrounding properties. One project, between Long Acre and King Street, will open up listed courtyards and create a pedestrian walkway across Floral Street to the Piazza.

6. King’s Cross
King's Cross Central
is perhaps the most ambitious “place-making” project in the UK, with 20 new streets, 10 public squares, 2,000 homes and oceans of workspace created, while 77-acre Earls Court in west London is getting a new high street and 8,000 homes, with land being reclaimed from the former exhibition centre. Flats at Lillie Square, the first phase, cost from £799,000. Call 020 7381 9800.

7. Docklands
A new high street and market square are at the heart of 3,385-home Royal Wharf in Docklands. Smaller-scale project Battersea Exchange, with 290 homes alongside a railway viaduct, also has a new street connecting the area’s two main train stations — Battersea Park and Queenstown Road. Prices from £790,000. Call Cushman & Wakefield on 020 3667 5589.

8. Islington
In north London, a 4.5-acre mail sorting office has become 263-home Islington Square, whose key architectural element is a new pedestrian route from Upper Street via a “floating” glass-roofed internal garden that leads to a shopping arcade and a tree-lined boulevard with pavement cafés. Prices from £715,000. Call 020 7861 5499.


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