Royal Wharf:the east London district where family-friendly homes are 30 per cent cheaper than Canary Wharf

Royal Wharf is set for big change over the next decade, with 20,000 people expected to live and work in the former industrial zone.

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Royal Wharf is Docklands’ biggest new district since Canary Wharf was built 30 years ago, with 3,385 homes, including townhouses.

Glenn Howells, the architect, says the project marks a return to old-fashioned design principles, “inspired by the success of London’s landed estates, with their uncomplicated pattern of streets and squares”.

Rather than a cluster of glass-and steel skyscrapers, the architecture is varied and more human scale, and the layout is family-friendly, with a high street, a primary school, parks, squares and riverside restaurants. It will also have its own Docklands Light Railway station, plugged into Crossrail, due to operate from 2018.

Almost half of this mainly low-rise neighbourhood will be open green space, with outdoor areas designed for fitness activities that will be coordinated by the on-site leisure complex. The idea is for yoga sessions under trees, circuit training around the lawns, and jogging and cycling on paths and the riverside promenade.

Mariner’s Quarter is the latest phase, a series of riverside apartments blocks with a twisting shape and façades that change with the seasons via adjustable louvered balcony screens. Prices start at £395,000. Call 0207 118 0700.

Eventually more than 20,000 people will live and work in this former industrial zone near the Thames Barrier. The wider Royal Docks area is set for big change over the next decade and this could be a chance to buy early into a district with upside. Homes are 30 per cent cheaper here than in Canary Wharf.


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