A calm oa­sis in the city cen­tre

De­vel­op­ers are search­ing for lake­side sites in ur­ban set­tings to of­fer home buy­ers the best of both worlds, re­ports Laura Latham

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

She bought the 18th-cen­tury house, which is in the hill­top vil­lage of Sin­tra, near Lis­bon, for €7.5 mil­lion (£6.76 mil­lion). The mini-palace, which is set across more than five acres, needs com­pletely over­haul­ing.

‘Liv­ing near or over­look­ing the wa­ter sits well with the psy­che’

One such brown­field site is be­ing re­de­vel­oped on the eastern out­skirts of Chich­ester, Hamp­shire, by Cala Homes. The mas­ter plan of the scheme, called Shop­wyke Lakes, shows a mixed-use project on around 80acres with up to 500 homes, plus busi­ness units and com­mu­nity leisure fa­cil­i­ties. There will be a 30-acre pub­lic park de­signed to in­cor­po­rate three ex­ist­ing lakes and some smaller ponds, and the es­tate is next to a 40-acre lake used by a lo­cal wa­ter­sports club. A mix of one and two-bed­room flats and two to five-bed­room houses will be for sale, priced from £285,000.

Bar­ratt is turn­ing a for­mer quarry in the Kent vil­lage of Hythe, which is be­ing re­de­vel­oped along­side an es­tab­lished but pri­vately owned lake, into a scheme called Martello Lakes. The 190-home site has had a lot of buyer in­ter­est, as some prop­er­ties also of­fer coastal views. Prices start from £199,000 for a two-bed­room flat and from £350,000 for a three to fourbed­room house.

“Hythe is a nice vil­lage, and the lake and coastal lo­ca­tion of our site is a big draw,” says Har­vey Sal­lows, the sales man­ager for Bar­ratt. “We’ve had buy­ers ask­ing specif­i­cally for the lake­front plots.” He says there is a def­i­nite pre­mium on a wa­ter­side liv­ing. “Apart­ments fac­ing the wa­ter cost be­tween £5,000 and £10,000 more than those that don’t. A house with a wa­ter view will have maybe a £20,000 to £30,000 pre­mium.”

This added value is one of the rea­sons lakes have been specif­i­cally in­cluded in the mas­ter plan for a huge de­vel­op­ment in north Lin­colnshire. The aptly named Lin­colnshire Lakes scheme will cre­ate five new vil­lages with around 6,000 homes just west of Scun­thorpe. Sched­uled for com­ple­tion by 2028, along­side new trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, em­ploy­ment and com­mer­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties, there will be five ar­ti­fi­cially cre­ated lakes and other wa­ter­ways as part of the leisure and life­style of­fer­ing of the 5,000-acre site.

“Across the UK, wa­ter fea­tures in and around hous­ing in­creases val­ues by 15 to 20 per cent, which is at­trac­tive to de­vel­op­ers,” says Si­mon Green, North Lin­colnshire Coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of com­mer­cial. “We want to re­po­si­tion towns in this re­gion to be more 21st cen­tury – to cre­ate an ur­ban re­nais­sance here. North Lin­colnshire al­ready has an ac­tive out­door and wa­ter­sports-led en­vi­ron­ment, and we wanted to use that to our ad­van­tage.”

Con­cerns about flood­ing have been raised and are taken se­ri­ously enough for the landown­ers to be­gin the erec­tion of flood de­fences. “These will con­trol and mit­i­gate any risk of flood­ing, to safe­guard and en­able de­vel­op­ment,” says Green. “Land is also set aside be­tween the river and the hous­ing for agri­cul­ture and as a flood plain, which also forms a nat­u­ral bar­rier to ur­ban sprawl.” Green says the new de­vel­op­ment will aim to bring a higher stan­dard of ser­vices and ac­com­mo­da­tion to lo­cals, as well as at­tract­ing peo­ple from hubs such as Sh­effield and Leeds, an hour to 90 min­utes away. “Peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate the good qual­ity of life, the tran­quil­lity and the ac­tiv­i­ties as­so­ci­ated with liv­ing near wa­ter.”

It was these factors that at­tracted El­lie Streeter, a sales ad­viser at Crest Ni­chol­son’s Ar­bor­field Green scheme near Read­ing, to buy a lake­side home where she worked. Us­ing Help to Buy, she and her part­ner Jonathan Hayward pur­chased a two-bed­room flat in Water­man’s View, where prices start from £299,000.

“The sense of com­mu­nity here is amaz­ing,” she says. “When I saw there was a top-floor apart­ment with views on to Water­man’s Lake, it sealed the deal for me.”

Work-life bal­ance: El­lie Streeter and Jonathan Hayward, right, bought at Water­man’s View, be­low right, where El­lie works as a sales ad­viser

Best of both worlds: homes at Martello Lakes of­fer coastal as well as lake­side views

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