‘I can’t be­lieve I can walk to the Thames in min­utes’

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Regeneration -

bptw in 2010. Hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions must make money to build more af­ford­able homes, so the ar­chi­tects pro­posed five open-mar­ket three­storey mews houses to the rear. As part of the deal, the Up the Creek Com­edy Club was re­stored.

The new six-storey brick blocks of one-, two- and three-bed­room flats, plus some du­plexes, hug the street front. The façade is flat­tish, while the back runs along a lane, with the boxy mews houses on the other side.

The plan­ners agreed to the ar­chi­tects’ wish to mass closer than usual, which gives a me­dieval, so­cia­ble feel­ing. “And as much glass as pos­si­ble,” says project ar­chi­tect Pete Wood­ford. All the flats are higher spec than the Lon­don Plan, RE­TIRED GP Phyl­lis Camp­bell, left, moved into a pri­vate pent­house du­plex on the fourth and fifth floor at The Gramercy Green­wich in Septem­ber last year. The views are fab­u­lous — from her big, south-fac­ing ter­race she can see the Royal Ob­ser­va­tory one way and the Lon­don Eye the other.

Camp­bell, 72, raised her fam­ily in a big old house in Shoot­ers Hill where she lived for 35 years and knew all her neigh­bours. “My friends teased me be­cause I said I wasn’t mov­ing any­where with­out a back door.”

Her fam­ily even­tu­ally per­suaded her to try it. From a five-bed­room house with one bath­room she now has three bed­rooms and three bath­rooms.

Her spa­cious liv­ing room with pale solid oak parquet floors and white walls is at the top, with its bal­cony. The bed­rooms are be­low. The chil­dren and grand­chil­dren all love it and so does Camp­bell.

She is work­ing on her friends to move, too. “I couldn’t be­lieve I could walk to the Thames in min­utes, and am sur­rounded by the ever-chang­ing sky, and birds. And the trans­port is amaz­ing.”

She is fit and ac­tive, but all the du­plex flats are “fu­ture-proofed” — de­signed so that a lift could be put in if ever one was needed.

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