From Stamford Bridge to White Hart Lane: London's top sporting stadiums are being transformed into new homes

New flats are being built at some of London's most iconic football stadiums and sporting venues as more homebuyers want to be part of the 'Beautiful Game'.

Property is in a league of its own in London, with famous and not-so-famous football clubs redeveloping their stadiums with glamorous new homes for those who enjoy the roar of the crowd.

Chelsea Village, created within the walls of Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge ground, has shown that expensive apartments can flourish alongside a stadium that attracts hordes of chanting soccer fans once or twice a fortnight.

The club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, is keen to push ahead with his vision for a new £500 million stadium that will include luxury flats. The club has held two public exhibitions of its plans, which Hammersmith and Fulham council says are “generally acceptable”.


Arsenal FC’s redevelopment of historic Highbury stadium shows how imaginative architecture and impressive landscaping can create attractive homes in a seemingly unpromising location. Highbury Stadium Square, a smart enclave of 724 homes, has a two-acre private garden square designed by Christopher Bradley-Hole, a Chelsea Flower Show medal winner, above an underground spa and car park.

New glass-clad apartment blocks at two ends of the former stadium have crisp symmetry. Homes created within the listed east and west stands are the most spectacular and some have huge terraces with good views. The listed Art Deco main entrance has been retained and is a marble-hall concierge reception. Foxtons is selling two-bedroom flats priced from £935,000. Call 020 7704 5000.

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Game on: Arsenal’s redevelopment of its historic Highbury stadium shows how to create attractive homes in a seemingly unpromising location.

 

Arsenal’s Emirates stadium is ringed by new housing that was a planning requirement.

And at Wembley, an entire new district with 5,000 homes is being built around the new stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur is the latest club to get the green light. The new White Hart Lane stadium, due for completion in 2018, will have 585 on-site flats and help kick-start regeneration of a tough area that has struggled to attract home-buyers. 

West Ham’s Upton Park ground has already gone under the hammer ahead of the club’s move to the Olympic Park — sold to developer Galliard, which has plans to turn it into an East End “village” of 700 homes.

AFC Wimbledon is building a new stadium on a 14-acre site in south-west London that will include 602 homes, while Brentford FC is building a new stadium and 648 homes on land near Kew Bridge. When finished, the existing Griffin Park ground will be transformed into 75 homes, including five-bedroom family houses.

Queens Park Rangers has unveiled plans for a 40,000-seat stadium at Old Oak in north-west London that would free up the club’s Shepherd’s Bush stadium for redevelopment into homes. Old Oak Common, currently acres of derelict industrial land, has been earmarked as a new 24,000-home district with a transport super-hub.

Millwall is another club with property ambitions, vying to build a new stadium and 400 high-rise homes that will integrate with a 2,400-home neighbourhood called New Bermondsey.

Smaller grounds are also being targeted for homes. Dulwich Hamlet, a non-league team nicknamed “London’s most hipster football club” because of its right-on fashionista fans, occupies a prized plot in leafy Dulwich. Owner Hadley Property Group is working with fans and the local council to build a new “community” stadium and up to 150 homes.
 

Greyhound tracks getting property makeovers

Outdated greyhound stadiums are breeding grounds for housing, too. With developers scrambling for land, dog tracks that were once on the outskirts of London are increasingly in demand.

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Release the hounds: behind the Art Deco façade of Walthamstow greyhound stadium, 99 apartments and houses will go on sale next weekend from £320,000


Homes at the old Walthamstow stadium go on sale next weekend — 99 flats and houses set behind the track’s original Art Deco façade, which includes a listed wall of neon lights, the UK’s  largest installation. Prices at Stadium Place start at £320,000, with shared-ownership options available. Call 0844 406 9800.

The stadium has a special place in east London folklore. It was known as “Las Vegas at the end of the Victoria line” and has been used in numerous pop videos. Ex-England football captain David Beckham got his first job there — as a glass collector — and the stadium featured on the cover of rock band Blur’s Parklife album.
 

How Catford moved on from the dogs

Catford greyhound stadium is making way for Catford Green, a 588-home “quarter” next to the train station, which is on the proposed Bakerloo line extension through south-east London. It also butts up against Ladywell Fields, a 54-acre green expanse. The relatively affordable prices are attracting junior doctors at nearby Lewisham Hospital.

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Racing ahead: Catford Green, a 588-home "quarter" is replacing the old Catford greyhound stadium


Homes in demand near football stadiums

With the stigma gone and gentrification spreading to grittier parts of the city, football clubs suddenly find themselves in demand.

“Homes next to football stadiums or any sort of arena used to be the last place people wanted to live, except for a few die hards, but perceptions have changed. Today it seems almost everyone wants to be part of the ‘Beautiful Game’,” says Andrew Palmer, director of Cushman and Wakefield, a firm of property consultants that identifies development sites in up-and-coming areas.

Take Brentford, for example, on the more affluent west side of London, with fast road links to Heathrow and beyond. The local football club’s 10-acre new stadium complex, a joint venture with developers Willmott Dixon, will cement regeneration by creating a community hub on former industrial land. 

Called Prime Place, the development includes seven residential blocks, shops, leisure facilities, extensive landscaping plus pedestrian and cycle routes to the river. Homes will be launched later this year. Call 01462 671852.

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Prime place: a 10-acre new stadium complex in Brentford includes seven residential blocks, shops, leisure facilities, extensive landscaping plus pedestrian and cycle routes to the river


Tottenham FC’s new £400 million stadium will have a “skywalk” attraction allowing fans and visitors to climb the exterior of the south stand and take in panoramic views of the capital. The deal with planners involves upgrading local streets and buildings such as listed Warmington House, which will become a museum.

The new AFC Wimbledon stadium in Plough Lane, also on the site of a former dog track, will be at the centre of a 14-acre neighbourhood with courtyard gardens and squares and amenities such as squash courts and dance studios.


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