Bermondsey: 800 new homes
The former Peek Frean factory in Bermondsey, which once turned out garibaldis and bourbons by the million, is to become 800 new homes and a park as part of the Bermondsey Spa regeneration project (right).
The area, close to Tower Bridge, dates from 1830 when philanthropist Thomas Keyse created a spa on what was then meadows. During the Victorian era, the district became a centre for the leather trade but the Blitz and inner-city blight took their toll until five years ago when Southwark council and Hyde housing association agreed a regeneration plan.
Railway viaducts have been refurbished and new apartment blocks surround glorious St James's Church, built in 1829 as a monument to soldiers killed in the Battle of Waterloo.
Peek Frean closed in 1989 and the site became a small business estate. Workspace Group, the owner, will retain some of the original factory buildings as part of its redevelopment and create homes and loft offices. As well as apartments, there will be four-bedroom townhouses. Public areas will be improved with better links to nearby Southwark Park and Shad Thames.
Hampstead's new grand apartments in Fitzjohn's Avenue
Solidly fashionable parts of north-west London such as Hampstead and Belsize Park have had a lower profile in recent years with the old East End and south of the river stealing their thunder.
When laid out in the 1880s, Fitzjohn's Avenue was the area's most prestigious address — a tree-lined boulevard with 70 Arts & Crafts villas sitting in large plots, described at the time by Harpers Magazine as "one of the noblest streets in the world".
Eighteen grand lateral apartments have been created at the site of three former mansions, previously used as a convent and girls' school. The listed façade of one of the mansions has been retained and two replica fronts built alongside. Everything behind is new. Concierge, parking and extensive rear gardens. Prices from £2.45 million. Call Knight Frank on 020 7317 7960.
328 baronial-style homes at the former Royal Military Academy, Shooters Hill
While the MCC dithers over residential development at Lord's cricket ground, homes have been launched overlooking England's oldest cricket pitch at the former Royal Military Academy in south-east London.
Dating from 1741, the listed 21-acre site was once a training school for commissioned officers, but closed after the Second World War when facilities transferred to Sandhurst. The £50 million regeneration includes an upgrading of the cricket pitch plus a new pavilion. The pitch is large enough for county cricket and is being taken over by Blackheath Cricket Club.
The scheme is a prestige presence on the leafy slopes of Shooters Hill, close to Woolwich town centre. Designed in baronial style, it has a central tower with domed turrets, quadrangles, a chapel and lodges — a self-contained conservation area with 328 homes.
In addition to the cricket pitch, there is a military-style fitness trail and a children's play park, while the Great Hall is to become a community space combining library and residents' club. Prices from £220,000. Call Durkan Estates on 020 3689 7823.
Muswell Hill: family homes near top school)
A back-garden development at Creighton Avenue in leafy Muswell Hill brings swanky new five-bedroom family houses with open-plan kitchens, family rooms opening on to gardens, and secure parking.
A plus is that they are close to Fortismere School, one of London's best-performing high schools. Prices from £1.59 million. Call Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward on 020 8222 7200.
Turning Bauhaus into your house in NW3
Bauhaus-inspired architecture is turning heads off Finchley Road, where a sleek and minimalist modern mansion block brings designer glamour to the well-connected NW3 postcode (Zone 2).
The building's distinctive front features bronze anodised window frames and brass brise soleil shutters that provide shade from the sun. Apartments span the depth of the building, front to back, providing dualaspect views.
Four "Skyline" apartments with floor-to-ceiling glazing and terraces have been launched. The block's elevated position, next to a new cultural centre, makes for far-reaching views. Prices from £725,000. Call Goldschmidt & Howland on 020 7435 4404.
Going to The Chapel in Brentwood, Essex
Few properties set the heart racing as much as homes in prized heritage buildings. Conversions with classic good looks always impress.
The Chapel is the latest unveiling at The Galleries, above, a listed Victorian asylum in Brentwood, Essex, painstakingly restored by conversion specialist City & Country.
The former place of worship has been transformed into a stunning 2,700sq ft double-height duplex priced at £950,000. Other apartments start at £245,000. Call 01277 202122.