FU­TURE LON­DON

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - First-time Buyers -

POOR old East Ham, eh? This out­post of the tra­di­tional East End has thor­oughly missed out on the waves of re­gen­er­a­tion that have trans­formed much of the rest of Ne­wham, from Strat­ford in the north of the bor­ough to the Royal Docks in the south.

But over the next five years hun­dreds of mil­lions of pounds will be poured into this well-con­nected and fan­tas­tic­value neigh­bour­hood, cre­at­ing many hun­dreds of new homes for first timers, other buy­ers and renters to aug­ment its still-af­ford­able pe­riod hous­ing stock. Along with the new homes will come new cafés, shops, and restau­rants.

“This is an area which has real po­ten­tial,” says Matthew Lees, se­nior land man­ager at Bell­way Homes, which is one of the house­builders in­vest­ing heav­ily in the area. “It is a place where real Lon­don­ers can still af­ford to buy and it is not a mil­lion miles from the re­gen­er­a­tion zone at Can­ning Town.”

It was a tiny set­tle­ment on marshy land close to the River Rod­ing un­til 1859 when East Ham rail­way sta­tion opened. Then, slowly, East Ham de­vel­oped into a sig­nif­i­cant sub­urb with a mag­nif­i­cent Ed­war­dian town hall and streets of good-qual­ity pe­riod houses. Equally slowly dur­ing the 20th cen­tury it de­clined, bat­tered by wartime bombs and then scarred by de­press­ingly poorqual­ity so­cial hous­ing.

LOTS OF PLUSES

De­spite this the area is sur­pris­ingly green, with two main parks, Cen­tral Park and Plashet Park, as well as Flan­ders Field where the late Bobby Moore, cap­tain of the 1966 World Cup-win­ning Eng­land foot­ball team, played as a

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