Wandsworth is building more new homes than any other London borough

Already famous for its low council tax, leafy commons and Nappy Valley yummy mummies, Wandsworth is now set to be the new-homes champion of London.

During the next decade, more homes will be built in Wandsworth than any other London borough. As the first residents buy into the Battersea Power Station riverside district, the wraps have come off another dazzling new waterfront quarter in the historic heart of Wandsworth town centre.

For generations, eight-acre Ram Brewery, next to the town hall, has been enclosed by high walls and cut off to the public, corralled by a car-clogged, one-way system hostile to pedestrians and preventing a real sense of neighbourhood cohension.


Tomorrow the first phase of 661 new homes, priced from £300,000, go on sale at the rejuvenated site, which closed down in 2006 after a brewing tradition dating from 1512, including the Young’s brewery, the oldest in the UK.

Modern apartment blocks 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 will run through the site alongside the River Wandle. About half the area will be open public space, with courtyard gardens and a market square.

The river used to be one of the most polluted waterways in England, with 68 water wheels powering tobacco, textile and brewing factories along its nine-mile route from Surrey to the Thames.

But there has been a dramatic clean- up in recent years, with fish species flourishing again and parks and nature reserves created along its banks. At Wandsworth town centre, the river will be opened up to the high street and onwards to the Thames Path. Famous for its low council tax, leafy commons and Nappy Valley yummy mummies, Wandsworth’s weakness has been the absence of a convivial town-centre hub.


From £300,000: Ram Quarter includes shared-ownership flats, studios, two-bedroom flats and duplex penthouses

Ram Quarter may provide the answer, an animated place for people living there and a destination for others elsewhere in the borough.

Chinese developer Greenland Group says lessons have been learned from Wandsworth’s Thames-side housing schemes, some of which are soulless and sterile, out on a limb and unconnected to public transport, shops and amenities. It is designed as a place for families as well as singles and couples, with architecturally diverse homes ranging from studios to four-bedroom laterals and duplex penthouses priced up to £1.5 million plus affordable shared- ownership flats and underground parking for car-owning residents. Visit the marketing suite or call 0800 088 6777.

The brewery redevelopment links in with other town-centre regeneration. Southside shopping mall is getting a facelift. A Waitrose supermarket has opened, helping to address the “mismatch” between existing local shops and those that people want, and coming soon is a new Debenhams, the district’s first department store.

Nearing completion is The Filaments, formerly a gas mantle factory, with 416 homes priced from £460,000. Also for sale are three-bedroom penthouses with large rooftop terraces priced from £1.15 million. Call Mount Anvil on 0845 077 9770.


From £460,000: there are 416 homes at The Filaments, including three-bedroom penthouses with large rooftop terraces from £1.15 million. Call 0845 077 9770

Gathering pace, too, is a radical redesign of the one-way traffic system, a notorious bottleneck. A transport “dowry” paid by Ram Quarter’s developer will help fund the improvements, due to begin in 2017 and be completed by 2019. This rejig will divert traffic away from the high street and make the town centre more pedestrian-friendly, with wider pavements and upgraded shopfronts.

“Traffic has killed the town centre, so this concerted regeneration will help enormously, and open up a key area that buyers have tended to avoid,” says Ed Mead of estate agent Douglas & Gordon.

By 2018 the borough will also have two new Northern line stations (at Wandsworth Road and Nine Elms), and the council has ambitions for a further extension to Clapham Junction, which is also getting a make-over.

Wandsworth used to be a predominantly family-house district but regeneration is adding a whole new layer of flats. Where once there were wharves and distilleries — the untidy side of commerce and industry — there are now gleaming developments, many with that vital river view.

“What people always forget about Wandsworth is how huge and diverse it is. You cannot paint it with one large brush; you have to cut it up into sections,” adds Mead.

Regeneration is rippling out from both the town centre and Nine Elms to the Wandsworth heartland, where there are still up-and-coming areas. Taylor Wimpey’s redevelopment of derelict railway arches and industrial land at Patcham Terrace, close to Battersea Park, is bringing more than 300 homes. To register, call DTZ on 020 3296 2222.

The Schoolyard in Eltringham Street is a scheme of 119 flats in crisp, contemporary-design, low-rise blocks, close to Wandsworth Town station. Prices from £400,000. Call 0844 406 9288.


From £4.95 million: substantial six-bedroom houses at Asquith in Spencer Park have 4,640sq ft of living space

The Ramsay effect
Earlsfield offers good value for young families, with four-bedroom Victorian houses for about £750,000. Terraces close to the town centre, currently affected by the heavy traffic, are likely to get a price boost.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay came to prominence at Harvey’s restaurant, now the Michelin-starred Chez Bruce, in Bellevue, a pretty parade overlooking the common. Ramsay stayed loyal to the area and lives in a Victorian mansion close to the “toast rack” grid of roads off East Hill, one of Wandsworth’s top addresses.

A smart development of new townhouses bordering the common also has private access to the “secret garden” of Spencer Park, a green sanctuary for the exclusive use of local residents, with tennis court and children’s play area. Each summer the residents adorn the park with candles and enjoy a splendid dinner party. Called Asquith, the scheme comprises four substantial six-bedroom houses of 4,640sq ft. Prices from £4.95 million. Call Savills on 020 3430 6900.

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