All roads lead to the once-hum­ble river Lea

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

It is “a place to go and get some­where else,” as lo­cally born Adele said in an interview about her 2015 song, River Lea. Bub­bling up at its source on a Luton coun­cil es­tate, it gath­ers pace through Es­sex and north Lon­don to meet the Thames at a metal yard in Can­ning Town. The Lea flows in the shadow of Lon­don’s most fa­mous wa­ter­way; it has been a place of in­dus­try since the Bronze Age, and then the barge­men who fer­ried flour from its mills and the “Bow china” from the wa­ter­side fac­to­ries.

Canalised in the 18th cen­tury with the Lee Nav­i­ga­tion (the river is var­i­ously spelt Lee and Lea) it be­came a net­work of locks and creeks that cut across three Lon­don bor­oughs, evad­ing the strate­gic overview and in­vest­ment that it needed.

This would come with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park built for the 2012 Games; an am­bi­tious re­gen­er­a­tion pro­gramme strad­dling the Lea has trans­formed the area be­tween Strat­ford and Hack­ney Wick. Tower Ham­lets and Ne­wham are pre­dicted to be the two fastest-grow­ing in­ner Lon­don bor­oughs be­tween 2018 and 2028 (the Lea’s other area, Hack­ney, is the fourth fastest).

“East Lon­don, par­tic­u­larly along the river Lea and into the Olympic Park, is set to pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of Lon­don’s new hous­ing,” says Patrick Gower of Knight Frank. “It is well suited for new res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment due to its prox­im­ity to Lon­don’s main fi­nan­cial centres in the City of Lon­don and Ca­nary Wharf, and its rel­a­tive value com­pared with other lo­ca­tions so close to cen­tral Lon­don.”

Over the next two decades, the Lower Lea Val­ley – an area that in­cludes Brom­ley-by-Bow, Strat­ford,

The river Lea in the Olympic Park, left; main and below, Mount Anvil and Pe­abody’s Three Wa­ters in Bow Creek, start­ing from £371,500

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