Riverside homes in London: thousands of new waterfront homes planned for seven key Thameside districts

Tens of thousands of new waterside homes are in the pipeline as more people live east than west of London Bridge - and river buses are making the commute easy.
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For the first time in the capital’s history, more people live east rather than west of London Bridge, mainly due to the development boom that continues to rage in Docklands. 

Tens of thousands of new homes are in the pipeline at Royal Docks, Greenwich Peninsula and Woolwich. They are all connected by the Thames, which is being restored as an important transport artery and is boosted by a mayor-backed plan to launch a new fleet of river buses covering more routes. 

Since the closure of the old commercial docks in the early Seventies, the once-polluted Thames and industrial land alongside it have undergone remarkable change, with regeneration that includes modern waterfront apartments. 


“Once you catch the riverside bug, you’ll never want to live anywhere else,” says Tom Burke of Savills Waterfront, a specialist division of the estate agency.

Thames Clippers services currently carry 10,000 commuters a day, while the new homes are tempting City workers who formerly favoured Knightsbridge and Kensington on to the riverbanks.

As a rule of thumb, east of Tower Bridge is cheaper than the central and western stretches of the Thames — and more convenient for the major employment centres of the City and Canary Wharf. 

Eight river bus piers between Tower Bridge and Woolwich integrate with established and improving neighbourhoods, where buyers can seek riverfront homes that start at less than £500,000.
From £430,000: Marine Wharf has 566 flats with central courtyards. Call 020 8694 3100

Shad Thames and Rotherhithe
Shad Thames, a prized enclave packed with Victorian wharves and warehouses converted into flats, is arguably Docklands’ most charming area.

One-bedroom apartments fronting the Thames cost from £650,000, whereas a block or two back, prices start at £430,000. Expect to pay between £700,000 and £1 million for a two-bedroom flat, and at least  £1.5 million for something special. 

Refurbished Hop Studios, in Jamaica Road, has a splendid Victorian brick façade with arched windows and cargo doors, behind which are new two-bedroom apartments. Prices from £1.2 million. Call Kalmars Residential on 020 7940 7980. 

Rotherhithe, meanwhile, is 25 per cent cheaper than Shad Thames. It has been an up-and-coming area for 30 years, but is finally becoming unquestionably fashionable. 

The established London taxi firm Addison Lee reports that Rotherhithe is the capital’s “destination hotspot”, with a 170 per cent increase in passenger journeys to the area over the past three years. Fragmented bits are being joined up and a busy waterfront zone is being created at Canada Water. 

A hidden gem is South Dock Marina, London’s largest, with 200 berths and a watersports centre. There is also a river bus shuttle across the Thames to Canary Wharf. Sellar Group, developer of the Shard, is building 1,030 homes in partnership with Notting Hill Housing. To register, call 020 8357 4444. 

Check out charming St Marychurch Street. Now a cobbled conservation area, this is where the Pilgrim Fathers set out, bound for North America, in 1620. 

The eastern side of Rotherhithe Peninsula, which borders gritty Deptford, has a different feel. Much of the area was demolished and infilled when the docks closed. Regeneration came to a halt some years ago, but builders are back.

Marine Wharf, with 566 homes, seeks to raise the bar in terms of design and picks up on the area’s industrial heritage. Interlocking apartment blocks with central courtyards are clad in warm brick and rusty steel panels. Prices from £430,000. Call 020 8694 3100. 

Equity analyst Ryan Gregory, 29, chose Rotherhithe after leaving his family home in Brentwood, Essex.With a career in financial services, he wanted an affordable address with good investment potential close to both the City and Canary Wharf. 

He bought a two-bedroom apartment at a development that also offered a gym and concierge. “The river bus is great,” he says,  Greenland Pier is a five-minute walk from where I live. It’s stress-free and I always get a seat.”
From £417,600: Royal Quay flats in Limehouse, set behind warehouse façades. Call 020 7328 7171

Wapping and Limehouse
Wapping starts in the shadow of Tower Bridge and runs east to Shadwell Basin. The strip closest to the City, with both old and new homes overlooking two yacht basins, is the most expensive. 

London Dock, a 1,800-home estate being built on a former printworks site that spans 15 acres, will open up new pedestrian routes to the river and bring a public square, cafés, restaurants and a new secondary school. Prices from £869,950. Call St George on 020 7971 7880. 

After decades of neglect, a listed river-facing warehouse next to Wapping Tube station is being converted into 37 loft-style apartments and penthouses. Prices from £1.4 million. Call Galliard on 020 3603 9689. 

Traffic-free Limehouse is a fairly quiet pocket. Two-bedroom flats at Canary Gateway cost from £520,000. Call Gordon & Co on 020 7305 5114.

London’s oldest canal, Limehouse Cut, was built to create a short cut between the Thames and the River Lea at Bow. Glamorous it is not, but its location means this 250-year-old hidden asset is springing back to life. 

Royal Quay, on the banks of the canal, is a new scheme of 90 homes set behind original warehouse façades. Flats feature exposed brickwork and high ceilings. Prices from £417,600. Call Regal Homes on 020 7328 7171.

North Greenwich, where a new district of 10,000 homes is being built, has a pier and even its own beach and yacht club. Greenwich Millennium Village is a collection of apartment blocks alongside a nature reserve and park. Prices from £350,000. Call 020 8305 2712. 

Chinese developer Knight Dragon is building five “villages” knitted together by green space, squares, public art and a one-and-a-half-mile riverside promenade. Shiny new skyscrapers are under construction, with glass-clad apartments available to buy off-plan now. Prices start at £300,000 for a studio and rise to £1.95 million for a penthouse. Call 020 3713 6153. 

Telegraph Works is part of an improving riverside strip between the historic town centre and Greenwich Peninsula. The site dates back to the Tudor period, when it served as a gunpowder store in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. Later it was a sail and rope making factory, then it manufactured telegraph cables. Its last hurrah was as a tin foil factory, which closed in 2013.

The complex is now being redeveloped into 256 homes across four new buildings, including an 18-storey tower. A cruise liner terminal is earmarked for the site, too. Prices from £300,000. Call 01279 873333. 
From £490,000: South Quay Plaza in the heart of Canary Wharf offers 888 new homes. Call 020 7001 3800

Canary Wharf
A fresh crop of waterside projects in this area includes 10 Park Drive, the first residential scheme within the boundaries of the Canary Wharf estate. There are 345 apartments in a pair of linked towers incorporating a sky terrace, spa and gym. Prices from £395,000. Call 020 7001 3800. Completion is due in 2019. 

South Quay Plaza, with 888 homes, includes one of Britain’s tallest towers — a 66-storey glass-clad skyscraper with a residents club, private cinema and spa on the 56th floor. Prices start at £490,000. Call 020 3675 4400. Completion is expected in 2020.

This south-east London “outpost” is coming in from the cold, courtesy of Crossrail and the maturing Royal Arsenal Riverside. A former munitions factory, the development is being transformed into a handsome 5,000-home residential quarter, with prized listed buildings being restored across the 88-acre site. Completion is due in 2030.

Investment-wise, Woolwich looks a good bet and is set to become a major transport hub. New waterfront apartments have also been launched. Prices from £367,500. Call Berkeley Homes on 020 8331 7130.

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