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