It's a game changer

Wednesday 19 November 2014
Über loos
Celebrate World
Toilet Day
Page 22
It’s a game
Camden is first council
to build homes to sell
Page 6
London’s best property search website:
Homes & Property Online with
This week:
news: give 90,000 kids the best
Christmas present — a home
Reach: 1,100 new
homes are
planned in
Canning Town,
just two stops
from Canary
Wharf. A third of
them would be
SHELTER says 90,000 children will be homeless in the
UK this Christmas and is calling on the next government
to bring in new laws making it easier for more affordable
homes to be built. The homeless charity wants to see
more land released at lower prices, which can then be
used by housing associations and small to medium
developers to build cheaper homes.
Pete Jefferys, the charity’s senior policy officer, says:
“It is essential housing gets into Cabinet and it is now
essential that the UK builds 250,000 houses every year
for the next 10 or 20 years. It is going to be a big electoral
issue and we have to push it up the agenda.”
Trophy buy of the week
get glass with class in Pimlico
£2,995,000: an acquisition of the Regency sort awaits in the
desirable Pimlico location of Westmoreland Triangle. This
handsome home has had its five floors transformed into a
light, glassy affair of fabulous living. Spanning the lower level
is a vast kitchen/dining room lit by a partly glazed ceiling up to
an equally bright double reception room. The upper floors
hold five spacious bedrooms and four chic bathrooms. There’s
a private roof terrace, too. Through Douglas & Gordon.
O Visit
London buy of the week behind the
Victorian façade is a super-slick surprise
£625,000: the white picket fence and
traditional Victorian façade of this
Peckham flat don’t prepare you for its
sleek, up-to-the-minute interior.
Bought as a shell in 2011, the owner
had it remodelled with a kitchen and
living space extension. Polished
porcelain tiles — warm underfoot —
run the entire space, the kitchen area
O Read Philippa Stockley’s full story at
£1 million: up sticks and invest in Bellropes in Bradwell-onSea, Essex. This family home does a roaring trade with its six
self-contained holiday apartments, a two-bedroom cabin and
two guest suites in the main house. Owners’ space includes a
master bedroom and balcony, two more bedrooms, dining
and living rooms, a study, playroom and kitchen/breakfast
room, plus two acres of gardens (Beresfords Country Homes).
O Visit
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O Visit
Life changer a big family
space that’s a nice little earner
Visit our new online
luxury section
has great gadgets and a breakfast bar,
while the lounge and dining areas
open to a lush garden through a wall
of folding glass doors. There are two
double bedrooms — one with a built-in
glass desk and the other with glass
doors to a courtyard (Wooster & Stock).
Ottoman bed frame
offers lots of extra storage space
60 Night Trial
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Hot tip: the little bit the boom forgot
HYDE PARK — all 625 acres of it — has long been at
the epicentre of prime central London’s
residential property market. Homes on its edge
are in constant demand and command huge
premiums. Yet price growth in one area to the
north-west corner of the park has fallen well
behind its flashy neighbours, making it a hot tip
for buyers, according to new research by Knight
Frank. Find out where it is by visiting:
News Homes & Property
This is the
headline that
goes like this
É SUGABABES singer Keisha
Buchanan, 30, was first in the
queue after we unveiled new
homes at Nine Elms Point, SW8,
far right, last week. The pop star,
right, was spotted at the launch
of the Zone 1 Barratt tower
chatting about starting prices
and the best investment flats.
Her invitation would have
followed her registration of
interest, or her having signed up
to Barratt’s database. Prices are
from £802,000 for twobedroom flats, with studios
and one-bedroom options
available. A five-minute walk
from Vauxhall Tube, the first
completions are due in
summer 2016.
Twilight heart-throb
downsizes to neat
LA bachelor pad
N1 house with
Gwynnie glam
É ISLINGTON’S Mildmay Park is a
hotspot for fashionistas, and this
five-bedroom Victorian townhouse in
the area, above, has featured as the
backdrop in high-end shoots, including
a Gwyneth Paltrow Vogue shoot with
Mario Testino at the helm, right.
Actress Kristin Scott Thomas and
presenters Lisa Snowdon and Myleene
Klass have also been pictured in the
house, which has been completely
refurbished in recent years.
The result is a dream home, with the
focus on expansive glazing, natural
light, vast lateral space and
contemporary design merged with
period features.
It is on the market with Fyfe Mcdade
in Islington for £2,695,000.
By Amira Hashish
O Visit homesand
Got some gossip? Tweet @amiranews
£1.38 million on a neat Hollywood
bachelor pad, above.
The Barnes-born Twilight actor,
below, sold the home he shared with
ex-girlfriend Kristen Stewart, his
co-star in the vampire film franchise,
in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, for more
than £3.8 million this year. He is now
dating English singer-songwriter FKA
His new home has two bedrooms, a
pool, ample living space and a cosy
music room. It may not be as bling as
Pattinson’s previous house but it
marks a fresh start for the 28-year-old
Nine Elms Point
tops Keisha’s chart
REX with
Spot the star quality in Ben’s
Rotherhithe riverside residence
O Visit
said to love relaxing in
the sumptuous flat.
In addition to taking the
lead in Lord Lloyd-Webber’s
West End revival of Jesus Christ
Superstar, 33-year-old Forster
has starred at the Dominion
Theatre as Agustin Magaldi in
Evita, and is due in Dublin
over Christmas to play
Buddy the elf in ELF the
Broadway Musical,
previewing at the Theatre
Royal, Plymouth.
É MUSICAL theatre star Ben Forster
is selling his penthouse overlooking
the Thames. The 1,500sqft duplex
apartment in Rotherhithe has three
en suite bedrooms as well as a roof
terrace and balcony.
Located in Tudor Court, a smart
SE16 gated development, the stylish
home is for sale at £950,000 with
Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward.
The singer, right, shot to fame after
winning Andrew Lloyd Webber’s
Superstar talent contest on ITV in
2012, and when he’s not on tour he is
Homes & Property New homes with
Camden council is leading the way, going
into business as a house builder selling sleek,
Scandi-style flats, says David Spittles
In the pipeline:
below, the
Bacton Low Rise
estate at Gospel
Oak will have
homes for
private sale,
ownership and
affordable rent
below right,
master bedroom
of a Carlow
House loft-style
AMDEN council is making its
debut as a house builder,
launching new homes for
sale on the open market
under its own name. The
move, a symbolic break with the past,
is likely to be embraced by other councils struggling with housing shortages.
A torchbearer of long standing for
architect-led public housing, Camden
tomorrow launches 273 flats for sale at
the revitalised Maiden Lane Estate in
King’s Cross. This is the first batch in a
project set to bring 3,050 new homes
to the borough, including in
Bloomsbury and Holborn.
The “Scandi-style” apartments are
well-crafted, restrained, crisp and
contemporary, with big windows and
balconies, while the buildings are ecofriendly and energy efficient, with
“living” roofs that encourage biodiversity. A 24-hour concierge service is
promised, and cafés and low-cost office
space for start-up businesses are part
of the mix. Prices start at £450,000 and
rise to £685,000. Shared-ownership
options are also available. Call 020
3320 8220.
The Government is encouraging
councils to examine their land and
housing assets and has relaxed rules
outlawing residential development.
Camden and Hackney are the first
councils in the country to build and
manage homes for private sale and
shared ownership.
Camden’s Community Investment
Programme allows it to sell off land and
bulldoze estates to raise £403 million.
Proceeds from private sales are
ploughed back into neighbourhoods in
the form of new low-cost housing, better
public and green space, new shops and
community facilities. The new projects
hark back to “iconic” housing designed
by Camden’s celebrated architects’
department in the Sixties and Seventies,
when modernism ruled. Maiden Lane
Estate was an avant-garde, low-rise
scheme of concrete houses and flats on
the northern boundary of the vast King’s
Cross railway complex. The location,
then joyless and isolated, is now part of
a swish new business district and cultural quarter.
The estate quickly became run-down
and was nicknamed Alcatraz. The architecture was blamed but that was an easy
target — a not-dissimilar scheme in
Hampstead overseen by borough architect Sydney Cook, of Brunswick Centre
fame, is listed and coveted as a place to
live. Some residents, including those
who exercised the Right to Buy, claim
the estate’s demise was due to council
neglect and poor management.
Architect PRP’s new design seeks to
recapture the spirit and aesthetic of the
original Seventies estate, with sleek,
white, linear blocks of varying height
to complement the cluster of buildings
at neighbouring King’s Cross Central.
Due for completion next summer, the
homes are being sold by Savills, which
has named the scheme XY, a reference
to Maiden Lane’s position on the “x
and y co-ordinates” between King’s
Cross and Camden stations. “It’s all
about connections and a coming
together — past and present,” says the
firm’s Peter Sloane.
Other private sale projects in the
pipeline include Bourne Estate in
Clerkenwell, Tybalds Estate in Holborn, Abbey Road, just north of St
John’s Wood, Bacton Low Rise estate
at Gospel Oak and Agar Grove,
From £450,000: Camden council launches flats for sale
tomorrow at revitalised Maiden Lane Estate, King’s Cross
Camden Town. Homes are also being
created at redeveloped Centre Point,
the Sixties West End office tower.
With an average house price of
£806,414, Camden is the third most
expensive London borough. The new
council-built homes are being sold for
market value but they are pitched
firmly at “ordinary” middle-income
Properties at Maiden Lane are likely
to be a big hit with buyers, firstly
because of the design quality and secondly because of the hot location.
When complete, King’s Cross Central
will have 23 new and refurbished office
buildings, 20 new streets and 10 new
public spaces, a community of 45,000
people, enlivened by the site’s Central
St Martins university campus.
Regeneration is rippling out all the way
to Camden Town. Lively Caledonian
Road, known as “The Cally”, is the
spine of this area. An imaginative redevelopment of a factory workshop and
stable block, called 400 Caledonian
Road, has created 23 low-energy
homes plus office studios.
Compulsorily purchased as part of
the Eurostar tunnelling project, the
premises had been empty and decaying for several years. A pair of adjoining
Victorian townhouses have also been
restored. Prices start at £400,000. Call
Currell on 020 7354 6705.
This patch butts up against Barnsbury
conservation area, a pretty enclave of
garden squares, cottages and ivy-clad
New homes Homes & Property with
pubs, much of which is excluded to
through traffic.
For many years, Regent’s Canal and
its linked industry was a drawback for
Camden Town, as was the area’s close
proximity to King’s Cross. Today, however, both the waterfront and train
tracks have become positives. Canalside regeneration has prettified the
area while the Eurostar terminal has
put Paris two hours away.
This district is one of the few places
in London where bohemian prosperity
and urban edginess happily co-exist.
Its colourful street markets attract 25
million visitors a year and there is a
wider development plan for the creation of Canal Lock Village, which will
From £500,000: flats at Carlow House,
converted from a London Underground
warehouse near Camden High Street
Green’s grand: Carlow House atrium.
The development of 85 homes also
features glass-walled winter gardens
include flats and a covered market with
rooftop pavilions linked by walkways.
The council has also agreed an
overhaul of Camden High Street, while
overcrowded Camden Town Tube
station is to get a £200 million facelift.
Locals working in the creative sector,
including fashion, film, theatre, music
and web design, are prepared to pay
the price for good-quality architecture
and thoughtful interior design, an
incentive for developers to push up
standards. Carlow House, a handsome conversion of a former London
Underground warehouse, will have 85
loft-style apartments with glass-walled
“winter gardens” for year-round use.
Prices from £500,000. Call developer
Galliard on 020 7620 1500
Homes & Property Commuting with
On the map: with the advent of Crossrail, Ilford will appear on Tube maps for the first time and the station is getting a new
façade and forecourt. The cross-London link will put Tottenham Court Road 23 minutes away and Heathrow 51 minutes away
ROSSRAIL is set to have just
as much impact on east
London as has the recent
extension of the Overground through Hackney
and the Jubilee line to Stratford.
“Home values within a 10-minute walk
of the east London Crossrail stations
have jumped six per cent more this year
than those in surrounding areas,” says
Johnny Morris, research director at
estate agents Hamptons International.
“Increasingly, buyers are searching
in travel Zones 3 and 4 for more affordable areas with upside. The prospect
of better transport connections is perhaps the biggest dividend of all.”
Both inner and outer east London
already have quick connections to the
City via Liverpool Street, and Crossrail
brings something more — equally fast
links to the West End plus a direct route
to Heathrow and the M4 commercial
corridor, an important hub for businesses. For the first time, Ilford will be
on the Tube map.
Districts between Stratford and Ilford
continue to benefit from the 2012 Olympics legacy. For many years these goodvalue areas have been associated with
the bottom rung of the property ladder,
a staging post that leads to somewhere
else. But steady improvements are
encouraging buyers to settle. They may
not be the most elegant places in London but they border huge green
swathes — Hackney Marshes, Wanstead
Flats and Epping Forest.
Artists priced out of Shoreditch are
also moving in, a sign of an area on the
up. Street cafés and late bars are open-
Faster travel links in Zones 3 and 4 will keep the
Olympic flame burning in east London for a new
crowd of arty young buyers, says David Spittles
ing, signalling the arrival of a new wave
of young home buyers who have
brought their lifestyle with them.
Investment-wise, it looks a decent bet.
Values are still among the lowest in
London, with pockets of reasonably
priced Victorian and Edwardian housing, though there are far fewer new
developments than in Stratford, now a
There was a fear that after the 2012
Olympics, STRATFORD might struggle
to live up to its post-Games plan. After
a brief plateau, though, the area is picking up again, with an increasingly settled community of young families and
professionals attracted by the already
impressive transport links and the new
amenities and sporting facilities. The
UK’s largest indoor ski facility is the
latest addition.
Over £9 billion of public money has
been pumped into the area. Nowhere
else in the capital has anywhere near
as much new infrastructure, and it is
the nerve centre of Newham borough.
The 500-acre Queen Elizabeth Olympic
Park is the largest recreational space
to be created in Europe for 150 years.
Stratford City, which includes Westfield
shopping centre, is the biggest retailled mixed-use regeneration project
ever undertaken in the UK.
Previously, Stratford was associated
with bad architecture and a high crime
rate. It has a hard urban face and lacks
metropolitan-village charm. But pleasing new neighbourhoods are being
built and big businesses are relocating
there. Crossrail, it seems, can only
enhance Stratford’s fast-improving
status as a decent place to live as well
as visit. From 2016, the area will be
From £275,000: flats at Stratford Riverside tower, with a residents’ roof garden on top of a connected seven-storey block
Forest Gate
Manor Park
Fast-improving neighbourhood: Stratford Riverside, in Stratford High Street
Commuting Homes & Property with
From £560,000:
apartments in
right, in the
new Stratford
“mini city”
From £425,000:
apartments at
Manhattan Loft
Gardens, left, a
tower with three
sky gardens in
reclassified as Zone 2. Stratosphere,
a new 36-storey tower, has 307 flats.
Two-bedroom apartments start at
£560,000. Call Telford Homes on 020
7538 2591. Stratford Riverside,
another tower, has 202 flats plus a
seven-storey connected block, on top
of which is a residents’ roof garden.
Prices from £275,000. Call Weston
Homes on 01279 873300.
Manhattan Loft Gardens is a shimmering 42-storey tower with 248 apartments that incorporates a hotel and
three open-air sky gardens. It is a step
up in quality for the area. Homes ranging from studios to penthouses are
double-height spaces with expensive
interior design that spells class, a
look that might be described as “Milanmodern”. Prices from £425,000. Call
020 7531 2512.
Stratford resales start at £220,000 for
conversions and about £330,000 for
modest houses. Increasingly, it is a place
for renters, attracted by purpose-built
homes such as those in East Village, the
former 2012 Athletes’ Village, where
flats start at £395 per week. The deal on
offer there includes free broadband and
furniture packs. Call 020 3714 8083.
Rents in the high-rise Stratford Halo
tower, overlooking the Olympic Park,
start at £1,300 a month. Call Genesis on
0800 954 1041.
MARYLAND, named after a rich merchant who bought land after returning
from the American colony of the same
name, is a somewhat ill-defined neighbourhood that fades into Leytonstone.
Check out the leafy Bushwood Estate
which has handsome Edwardian
houses and wide streets.
The average local property price of
£378,478 is 34 per cent below the London average, according to estate agent
Foxtons, which is selling a bay-fronted
three-bedroom Victorian terrace in
Hartley Road for £595,000.
A similar home in Maryland Square
is priced at £430,000, also through
Foxtons. Call 020 8150 8585.
FOREST GATE retains much of its Victorian character and is considered one
of Newham borough’s best addresses.
Woodgrange Estate, a coveted conservation area that has acquired “village”
status, comprises a pleasant cache of
orderly streets with 1880s villas, some
with front drives, distinctive original
glass porches and decorative wooden
detailing akin to the canopies of Victorian railway stations. Elsewhere, there
are plenty of family houses on offer for
under £500,000.
MANOR PARK is less fashionable, more
brash and bustling but has some quiet
backwaters such as Little Ilford. Parks
and playing fields — and the huge City
of London Cemetery — form a welcome
break from row upon row of terrace
housing. Streets south of Romford
Road, from First to Seventh Avenues,
offer well-priced four-bedroom houses,
while the comparatively sleepy area to
the south of the high street has ever-
popular streets named after poets
Browning, Coleridge and Shelley.
ILFORD, in Redbridge borough, is experiencing a population surge at the same
time as regeneration is improving the
fabric of the town centre. Developers
are targeting first-time buyers who
cannot afford to live near the commercial hubs of Canary Wharf or the City,
or in higher-priced Stratford, arguing
that people who buy now while prices
are lower can expect good capital
Crossrail is the spur the town needs
in order to keep momentum going.
Currently, Ilford is served only by overland trains on the Great Eastern main
line, but Crossrail will put Tottenham
Court Road 23 minutes away and the
journey to Heathrow will take 51 minutes. Reconstruction of the existing
façade and a new forecourt will
improve the station area, where flats
cost from about £180,000.
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Homes & Property Area watch
Going upmarket: near Hither Green’s refurbished Victorian
water tower, market stalls, a sign of growing family demand
stalls selling artisan
breads and speciality
olives at the regular
farmers’ market in
Hither Green, it is easy to imagine you
are in one of the capital’s more affluent
nappy valleys.
This Victorian suburb in Lewisham,
south-east London — long overshadowed by neighbouring Blackheath,
with its huge common and pretty shops
— is quietly gaining in popularity with
buyers priced out of more established
James Hall, director of Fishneedwater
estate agents, says great transport links
are a major plus point. Hither Green is
less than 15 minutes by train from London Bridge, 20 minutes from Charing
Cross, and an annual season ticket
costs a relatively modest £976. Schools
are the other key draw. Brindishe Green
and Brindishe Manor primary schools
are rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, while
Trinity Church of England secondary
school is rated “good”.
Hall says the area is now “a middleclass resting spot in its own right”, with
sought-after Victorian and Edwardian
terraces. New research by Savills shows
Hither Green homes are not only better
value than in Blackheath — an average
£322,050, compared with £478,586 —
but prices are rising faster. This year
they are up 15.6 per cent compared with
15.1 per cent, and since the 2007 market
peak Hither Green has seen a 31.1 per
cent increase to Blackheath’s 25.8 per
cent. The influx of young families
priced out of Blackheath and Peckham with
Hither Green.
So middle class
Blackheath’s modest neighbour is
the latest magnet for priced-out
families, says Ruth Bloomfield
Rye is making its mark on Hither Green
Lane, with the Café of Good Hope community hub and children’s fashion shop
Cissy Wears alongside convenience
stores and laundrettes. There is also a
community-run cinema, while the
monthly farmers’ market at Manor
House Gardens has just gone weekly.
New homes are popping up, including a biscuit factory redevelopment by
Bellway Homes. In Hither Green Village, south-west of the open space of
Manor Park, a three- to four-bedroom
house will cost £700,000 to £800,000,
£1 million: a fivebedroom house
in Slaithwaite
Road, below (see
slaith) and a
Gilmore Road
conversion flat,
below right, for
£775,000 (homes
and t wo -bedroom flats sell for
£350,000 to £375,000. The biggest
homes with four or more bedrooms
can sell for upward of £1 million.
West of Hither Green Lane prices fall
significantly, with flats at about
£315,000, and three- to four-bedroom
houses from about £600,000. Les
Sawyer, owner of estate agents Forbes
& Sawyer, says the area is as nice as the
village. “The only reason it is cheaper
is that it is closer to Catford.”
An abundance of skips denotes families extending into lofts and side
returns. Graham Lawes, an associate
director of Jones Lang LaSalle, says:
“The local shops have really upped
their game,” while The Station Hotel is
a good gastropub.
There is not much else, and the
boutique count is low — but it could be
just the right time to buy. You only need
scan the community website, full of ads for green
box schemes, Pilates classes and popup restaurants, to see which way the
wind is blowing.
Shoestring renting Homes & Property
That takes care of the rent
Our secret tenant
Tim Lowe turns to
caretaking in his hunt
for a cheap rental
home in Zone 2
residents and an increasing rat
population. Ambika ensures
buildings are secure and properly
looked after, while overcrowding is
avoided. This time I’ve got the
comfort of a whole floor of the
building to myself, complete with
kitchen, bathroom and living room,
with just one other housemate
occupying the floor below. But before
I get ahead of myself, let’s just say it
isn’t the homeliest of environments.
The decrepit interiors are littered
with signs of the previous
inhabitants, from punch marks
dotted all across my living room
walls, to signs around the building
warning that those who continue to
disobey the charity’s anti-drug policy
will face immediate expulsion.
Considering my earlier cheap-rent
stint on a houseboat, though, I’m
quite happy to have hot water and
electricity past 9pm.
I’m sharing the building with Ross,
a film-maker who has been living
with Ambika for five years. We work
out, between the two of us, who will
stay in on which nights each week.
Ross finds that committing to certain
nights fits well with his work
schedule and the many evenings he
spends editing his footage. He sees it
more as an add-on to his job than
anything else. He also doesn’t seem
to have a problem with the 24-hour
notice that caretakers are given, in
the worst-case scenario, if they are to
be moved on. When paying such a
nominal rent, the occupiers have to
accept a level of flexibility in return.
This model may not be for everyone
but if you are prepared to rough it,
this is one of the most effective ways
to save money in London.
I’m now preparing to move on to
my penultimate location, in a
housing co-operative with three
generations of a family on the South
Bank. The transition from living with
just one other person to a packed
house, complete with animals and
teenagers, could prove dramatic, but
I’m very much looking forward to it.
O An original version of this article
appeared in Estates Gazette. To follow
Tim’s progress, visit estatesgazette.
com/lowecostliving. On Twitter, see
@lowecostliving, Estates Gazette
@estatesgazette, or Knight Frank
FTER SAYING goodbye to
a YMCA Y:Cube flat-pack
home, my search for a
place to rent in Zone 2 for
less than £500 a month
takes me to Hammersmith to spend
three weeks living as a caretaker in a
former halfway house for young
The charity running the house is
relocating and while the building is
empty, it has employed security
company Ambika to keep watch. The
firm specialises in providing live-in
tenants to act as caretakers.
It is not the most glamorous spot to
bunk down for three weeks but by far
the most affordable so far. At just
£100 a month all in, this is amazingly
cheap for Zone 2. But unlike the
live-in guardian scheme I tried for my
first experiment in low renting,
where I was free to come and go as I
pleased with no strict duties, the
set-up is a lot more formal here.
There are two of us caretaking, and
one has to be present in the property
at all times between 8pm and 8am,
every night. This is enforced with
regular spot checks.
The other major difference
compared with my stint as a property
guardian rather than a security guard
is that I’m not crammed into the
building like a sardine, forced to
share a shower with 18 other
Affordable: Tim in his £100-a-month Hammersmith billet
Tim is working
with Ambika, a
security firm
contracted to
occupy vacant
Each property
has a minimum of
two caretakers
who must work as
a team and share
tasks, including:
O Providing a
caretaker service
at all times from
8pm to 8am
O Checking
regularly on
doors, windows,
and for problems
such as leaking
pipes etc
O Keeping the
property clean
and safe
O Reporting all
problems to
O Forwarding
utility bills and
other important
O Giving notice
of all planned
holidays or
absences from
the property
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Homes & Property London life with
Russian revolution: a car turntable is installed at the former home of Eugene Shvidler, with friend and business partner Roman Abramovich, left
HAT’S a billionaire to
do when his RollsRoyce — or even his
s p o r t y l i t t l e t wo seater — is too big to
turn around on the driveway?
It’s a conundrum that has faced many
a central London tycoon, particularly
in Belgravia and Knightsbridge, where
a combination of space shortage and
planning restrictions means building
a bigger driveway is not an option.
Now, architects have hit on a solution
— the car turntable. Instead of having
to build a big enough space to allow for
turning, you revolve the driveway.
Turntables have been used in the
railway industry for a century. But their
adoption for use in private homes is a
more recent, yet fast-growing, trend,
and several companies have sprung up
to meet the demand.
Current installations include the
former Belgravia home of Russian-born
oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, Chelsea FC
owner Roman Abramovich’s right-hand
man. Land Registry records show
that Mr Shvidler sold the property for
£55 million to an offshore company two
years ago, and it is now undergoing a
revamp that local planning records
suggest is largely based around the car
The company apparently hired to fit
the space-saving device is based in
Tamworth, Staffordshire, and is called,
fittingly, Spin-It. Recent customers
have included another Russian tycoon
in Pont Street, Knightsbridge; Coldplay
guitarist Jonny Buckland, for his home
in Hampstead, and practically a team’sworth of Premier League football players around the country. Luxury hotels,
including the Corinthia in Whitehall,
have joined in the trend, as has the
Discovery Channel’s TV car renovation
show, Wheeler Dealers.
Spin-It director Kieron O’Connor says:
“Cars are getting bigger, houses are getting bigger, and land is getting more
No room to turn your
Rolls-Royce around
on the front drive?
Jim Armitage
finds the answer
expensive. The result of all that, especially in London, is that there just isn’t
enough parking space. Architects have
realised car turntables are a cure. We
get a lot of orders in London, but more
and more are coming from abroad as
well — Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar and pretty
much every country in Europe.
“Foreign clients say it gives them a
one-upmanship on their neighbours to
be able to say they have a luxury British
car on a UK-engineered turntable.”
The biggest turntable Spin-It has fitted to date is about 25 feet across and
sits outside the entrance to the prestigious Harbour Hotel in the millionaire’s
playground town of Salcombe in
Devon. That was custom-built — price
on application, in other words.
For a more usual 19ft 9in diameter,
still big enough for a brace of Land
Rovers or a Rolls-Royce Ghost, manufacture and installation will set you
back about £20,000.
Great if you can
swing it: about
£20,000 buys
an average
turntable and
Visit our new online luxury section
Homes abroad Homes & Property with
HE Bodrum peninsula is
27 miles long, a green
headland with mountains,
olive groves and limestone
rocks stretching out from
south-west Turkey into the Aegean
Sea. Big enough to include both
sophisticated five-star hotels and
bright, brash resorts, yet still mostly
low-level and low-key, this is holiday
home heaven for anyone who wants
a lifestyle based around boats, bays
and waterside restaurants.
“Bodrum is a boating paradise,” says
Cameron Deggin of Property Turkey.
“You could easily spend two weeks
just on the peninsula exploring small
coves, dropping into ports round the
bay of Gokova then heading over to
the Greek island of Kos.”
The peninsula has 11 towns, each
offering different holiday
experiences, from candlelit dinners
in elegant Türkbükü to the noise and
buzz of upbeat Bodrum Town. The
peninsula, says Deggin, is the
equivalent of the Cotswolds for
Turks, a classy and attractive step
back from busy working life.
“Property prices peak in Türkbükü,
Bodrum Town and Yalikavak but you
can still get a two-bedroom flat with a
balcony in a small complex of 20 or
30 units — and possibly even a sea
view — from £75,000, or a threebedroom detached house and pool
for under £170,000.”
Turkey for
growing. US architect Richard Meier
recently completed the first of a
proposed 22 modern villas in the hills
above Yalikavak on the north of the
Bodrum peninsula. The sevenbedroom home was bought by a
British investment fund manager for
close to £3 million, and building has
begun on the second house.
Other villas at Yalikavak Heights
include a four-bedroom stone home
in three acres of gardens, built in 2007
and on the market for £1,329,180.
“There are only 40 or 50 villas in total
at Yalikavak Heights, all hidden
among the trees in dense, large
gardens,” says Deggin. “These homes
are exclusive and completely private
with good sea views.”
yachts as one of the best marinas in
the Med,” says Deggin. “It has helped
sales of waterfront homes in the area,
too. It is not possible today to build
within 100 metres of the sea so
existing homes are in high demand.”
Below these villas, Yalikavak is a
charming town with narrow cobbled
streets. It is also home to new, supersmart 450-berth Palmarina, Turkey’s
first mega-yacht marina, with shops,
restaurants and full boat services.
Palmarina aims to add a further 300
berths next year. “Yalikavak marina
already attracts some exceptional
A three-bedroom penthouse with a
convenient local jetty in Yalikavak is
£553,800, while above the sea, a
three-bedroom stone modern home
with a pool and garden is £399,000,
both through Property Turkey.
On a small, well-managed complex
in a quiet area of Yalikavak two miles
from the new marina and 500 yards
from the beach, with a resident
caretaker, a four-bedroom modern
villa is on sale at £320,000. Annual
service charges are about £1,500 and
the villa would rent for at least £1,200
a week from June to late September,
says Deggin. A detached modern
resale villa with four bedrooms and a
At the top end of the market there are
some exciting new projects. Strict
planning rules were relaxed in 2006
and while a maximum two-storey
restriction remains, the supply of
contemporary-design homes is
With holiday homes
from £75,000, now is
the time to buy in
Bodrum, reports
Cathy Hawker
£95,000: far left, a three-bedroom
ground-floor flat in Güllük near Bodrum
airport, through Spot Blue. Left, the
harbour and St Peter’s Castle in the port
city of Bodrum, south-west Turkey
£415,000: four-bedroom house with
pool in Yalikavak less than a mile from
the new marina (Property Turkey)
pool in Yalikavak, 45 minutes from
Bodrum airport, is £445,000 through
estate agents Spot Blue. It is in a small
complex of 24 homes that share
access to a beach club 10 minutes
away. Nearby, a newly built home of
similar size with an Italian kitchen and
open-plan living area is £456,000.
“Those with tighter budgets head to
Güllük and Tuzla close to the airport
where prices start from £45,000,”
says Julian Walker of Spot Blue.
“However, buyers from around the
world are looking at Turkey and on
the Bodrum peninsula itself, average
sales prices are increasing.”
O Property Turkey: propertyturkey.
com (020 8371 0059)
O Spot Blue: (020 8339
O Allow up to six per cent for buying
O All home purchases must be
approved by Turkey’s Army Office,
normally a formality.
# ! #"
Homes & Property Shopping with
By Katie Law
ign n
ONDON is coming alive
with Christmas markets,
seasonal pop-ups and
special late-night shop
openings. They give timepoor Londoners the chance to spend
evenings and weekends on the hunt
for unusual, interesting presents,
along with a mince pie or a glass of
mulled wine in hand.
Check individual events for details
of gift-wrapping services, carol
singing evenings or a Santa’s grotto.
Here’s our selection of the best
Christmas shopping events.
Above: Lorna
Syson cotton
robin cushion,
£47.50 at Cockpit
Arts, Deptford
Below: dipped
cylinder vases,
£22 each at
Future and Found
With late-night shopping available,
each week there will be pop-ups
from designer brands and
makers, along with mulled wine,
mince pies, competitions and
The courtyard will be stocked with
Christmas trees, festive foliage and
flowers to decorate the home.
O Brecknock Road, N19. Open until
9pm each Thursday during December
Right: pitcher £58 and bergamot
candle, £39, both from Another
Country’s winter market
This lovely shop has joined forces
with Netherton Foundry and
Melrose & Morgan to create a
food and drink-themed winter
O Saturday December 6 to Sunday
December 14, Crawford Street, W1.
The first pop-up from the
excellent online shop Etsy
includes handmade presents,
accessories and decorations
plus personalised letterpress
stationery and hip flask-engraving
O At Etsy House, Great Newport
Street, WC2. December 5-7.
Open Friday/Saturday from 10am to
8pm, and on Sunday from 10am to 6pm
Embrace winter in style
with our energy efficient
Tetro radiator
London showroom: 244 Belsize Road,
London NW6 4BT
T: 020 7328 2225
Shopping Homes & Property
REX with
Designer-makers are selling
homewares and letterpress
postcards, and holding a pom-pom
bauble workshop.
O The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane,
E1. Saturday and Sunday, Novermber 22
and 23, 11am-6pm (
Right: Home Slice Design’s Margate
cushion, £38.50 at the Renegade fair
Check out the clusters of wooden
chalets along the riverbank, pictured
left, offering handmade crafts,
mulled wine and more.
O Queen’s Walk and Hungerford Car
Park, SE1 from now until Christmas
each Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 9pm;
Friday and Saturday, 10am to 10pm.
Above: cotton crochet Santa rattle by
Best Years, £12, at Southbank market
Above: Sable Saddlery’s leather
holly decoration/napkin ring, £5, or
£25 for six.
There’s some really lovely leather
this year from Sable Saddlery among
the host of presents on offer.
O Asian Centre, Orford Road, E17.
November 29-30 (
Talented budding designers are
selling every kind of homeware, with
showcases selected by interiors
expert and architect Nigel Coates.
Meet the makers, enjoy the pop-up
café and there’s a free kids’
O Cockpit Yard, Northington Street,
WC1, November 28-30. Then December
5-7 in Creekside, Deptford, SE8. Friday
11am-9pm, Saturday and Sunday from
11am-6pm (
Enjoy late-night
shopping in one of
the few London
streets still
composed of mainly
independent shops
and galleries.
There’s carol singing
and entertainment,
with some shops
offering wine and
mince pies.
O Columbia Road,
E2. November 26,
December 3, 10 and
17, 6pm-9pm
Left: Tree of Life
ceramic, £60, from
Milagros at
Columbia Road
Christmas late-night
shopping events
The heart of Belgravia will become a
winter wonderland as part of a
Christmas market, including arts and
crafts stalls. Meet Santa and his herd
of reindeer along with carol singers,
jugglers, trumpeters and a traditional
brass band. Choirs from the area’s
local schools also take part in the
musical programme.
O December 7 in Elizabeth Street and
Pimlico Road, SW1.
Left: a traditional Daylesford Organic
pudding from the company’s shop at
the heart of the Belgravia Christmas
Sunday fair
Homes & Property Interiors
On trend: Geberit’s AquaClean Sela looks sleek as part of a modern bathroom design
Game of
Discover ways to make a bold style statement
in the smallest room on United Nations World
Toilet Day, says Barbara Chandler
ODAY is United Nations World
Toilet Day and tonight sees the
final of a London-wide toilet
joke contest at — appropriately
— The Convenience, a trendy
bar converted from a public lavatory
block in Brooksby’s Walk, Clapton. You’ll
spend £10 on the door rather than a
penny. But this is serious stuff. It marks a
campaign by the charity WaterAid to raise
money for the 2.5 billion people worldwide, or one in three, who do not have
access to a safe, private lavatory.
It’s a shocking statistic, and design and
engineering to solve the problem is the
focus of a seminar open to everyone from
6.30 this evening. Titled Rethinking Sanitation, it’s at the stunning Roca London
Gallery in Townmead Road, Chelsea,
designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the
Roca bathroom brand.
London is seeing big changes in
lavatory design, including the “shower
toilet”. This turns a loo into a bidet. Press
a button and a neat little “wand” pops
out at the back with a cleansing spray at
your chosen pressure/temperature,
before warm air dries you off. These
toilet bidets cost from about £1,500 to
an astounding £10,000 depending on
features. The lid may lift of its own
accord thanks to a motion sensor, and
the seat can be warmed. Toilet bidets are
at bathroom specialists all around the
capital, and you can try them out in
some showrooms.
Japanese company Toto pioneered the
technology — of the 25,000 people it
employs, 1,200 are designers. Toto’s
toilet bidet brand is the Washlet with
several working models at its showroom
in St John Street, Clerkenwell (visit gb. or call 020 7831 7544). Here,
the pursuit of hygiene is ruthless. Basic
models are rimless, with no ledge for dirt
to collect around, and there’s a supercharged Tornado flush.
These loos are installed throughout John
Robertson Architects’ refurbishment of
Bush House in Aldwych, former home of
the BBC World Service, now 300,000sq ft
of top-notch offices. Top-end Totos are
programmable, have automatic lid lift,
cleansing wands, air driers, super-smooth
coatings, special antibacterial water, and
blasts of UV light to kill germs — so you
can chuck out the loo brush.
Also in Clerkenwell is an all-singing, if
not all-dancing loo. The Numi by US
brand Kohler, comes at a fancy price,
too, pushing £10,000. Designer Phil
Proctor says: “The lid rises gracefully to
About £2,380: a wall-mounted
AquaClean shower toilet, by Swiss
bathroom specialist Geberit
meet you. This Bluetooth toilet will even
play your favourite music from radio, or
iPad/iPhone, with a background of colour-changing lights.” It’s got a cleansing
wand, heated seat, deodoriser, and a
touch-screen remote control with its
own magnetic docking station. See it in
action at West One Bathrooms in Clerkenwell Road, EC1 (westonebathrooms.
com; 020 7324 0780).
In Chelsea, a shower toilet is at Ripples
in Fulham Road (; 0800
107 0700). This is the Swiss Geberit
AquaClean, which costs about £2,380.
Across the road, CP Hart has a working
Toto and there’s also one at its Waterloo
branch (; 0845 600 1950).
Laurence Pidgeon in Fulham High
Street has a working bidet toilet with a
hose you pull out to deliver a soft cleansing jet of water for you, or a high-pressure blast to clean the loo (laurence; 020 7610 6166). Pidgeon,
a passionate advocate for World Toilet
Day and better global hygiene, is a fifthgeneration family bathroom firm.
There are basically three different types
of lavatory. A wall-hung loo needs a
support frame mounted on a solid wall,
while a back-to-the wall toilet sits on the
floor, with the cistern concealed behind
a wall or “duct” — a false wall. A closecoupled toilet has bowl and cistern in one
piece in a compact design that saves
space. Crucially, a dual-flush cistern can
halve your water consumption.
The new In-Tank Meridian from Roca
combines cistern and pan in one neat
Interiors Homes & Property with
Tidy: this ensemble from Italian designer Stefano Giovannoni
inlcudes a £989 WC with an optional self-lowering seat with
antibacterial coating (£279). From (0800 107 0700)
the Toto Neorest
AC Washlet wand
can clean the
user, and itself
From £3,220:
Roca’s W+W
wash basin and
loo, below, fills
the cistern using
waste basin water
space-saving fitment. Meanwhile, black
loos are in fashion.
“They make a great statement,” says
Melinda Hill, senior designer at Ripples
of Chelsea. One by Armani for Roca is
at the Staffan Tollgard showroom in
Pimlico (020 7952 6066).
And a new loo from German company
Grohe is claimed to cut the noise of its
flush by over two thirds compared with
an average toilet. It has even been
awarded a Quiet Mark (;
LAUNCHED this month is Busted
Flush! — a fascinating read considering
the subject is lavatories.
The author is Geoffrey Pidgeon, 88,
fourth generation of the family
running Original Bathrooms in
Richmond, which is now in the hands
of his son, Michael.
The book explodes “the Thomas
Crapper myth”. Claims Pidgeon Snr:
“Everyone thinks Thomas Crapper
invented the flushing toilet. But
my great-uncle had already filed a
Neither, by the way, did the
indelicate term “c**p” originate from
Crapper, it actually dates back to
middle English in the 14th and 15th
This book is a charming memoir, but
it is also packed with the social history
of sanitation, all well argued, with
plenty of quirky stories along the way,
involving everything from Winston
Churchill to chewing gum.
Pidgeon also details how his family’s
rift with the Crapper clan was
eventually healed. Surely essential
reading for the bathroom.
O Busted Flush! The Thomas Crapper
Myth: My Family’s Five Generations in
the Bathroom Industry is published by
Arundel Books at £15.99.
O See the video Straight Flush at
Homes & Property Outdoors with
shut out
the stars
Soft, subtle outdoor
lighting will take your
winter garden from
murky to magical
Clockwise from left: rooftop planters
are under-lit to emphasise their
shape; a column of LED lighting
changes colour at intervals; steps on a
terrace are given a subtle line of light
to define them and make them safe
along the tread, to wash light downwards. What’s important is the effect,
not the light itself, says Shackleton. “You
don’t want a flowerbed stuffed full of
metal bits and pieces, so always aim to
conceal the fittings.”
does not get as hot, and can colour
change, too. “We spend a lot of time
replacing cheap light fittings that people
have bought online, and a month later,
are full of water.”
The temptation might be to light just
the front of your outside space, but
Shackleton advises lighting the back
boundary, whether garden or patio.
“Lighting the far perimeter gives a great
sense of scale, so makes a small space
appear larger, and also makes you feel
safe, because you can see what is going
on out there.” Trees on the back boundary — or anywhere else, in ground or
container — can be illuminated by
simple spike lights set into the ground
that highlight the branches, creating
wonderful effects with little effort. A
wall can be washed with light, not just
for safety but also because it might have
an interesting texture, such as the rough
finish of old London bricks.
Directional spike lighters or uplighters
can be angled to give, say, a broad wash
to display a flowerbed, or a narrower,
20-degree beam to highlight a sculpture
or architectural plant such as an agave
or palm tree. Steps look attractive as
well as safe when given a fine LED strip
HE hardest area to light well,
says Shackleton, is the dining table on the terrace.
“People tend to put a light
on the side of the house that
blinds the people sitting on the far side
of the table and is very unflattering.
Instead, if you’re able to install a light
overhead, copy restaurants and send
a focused beam down on to the table,
or use storm lanterns or candles.”
When planning a new garden, it makes
sense to have armoured cable laid first,
beneath paths, steps and patios. “You
might want to have lighting later, and
that way, the garden’s prepared,” says
Shackleton. “It could even be flexible
ducting or a bit of 60ml drainpipe so
that in the future, the professionals can
put in a cable without pulling up the
paving. You’ll save money in the long
run. The last thing I want to do is say to
a client, ‘This is going to be a lot of work
and we are going to have to undo the
work you have already had done.’”
buy it
See it: Kew’s lights
LET snowflakes guide you along a
mile-long, glittering trail enhanced by
botanically inspired, large-scale light
installations at the Royal Botanic
Gardens, Kew this festive season.
Looking like giant fireworks frozen in
time, the installations, up to 40ft
square, include luminous lilies of the
valley and majestic thistles. The
fountains, glasshouses and tree
canopies of Kew will all be lit up, and
plumes of fire will dance to Nutcrackerinspired music in front of the iconic
Palm House, right.
Christmas at Kew runs from
November 26 until January 3.
Visit for details.
Buy it: a starry
nights lantern
MIMIC the stars with the Sparkla,
a 12-volt copper column that uses a
low-energy LED capsule to deliver
eye-catching light effects on the
terrace or in a sheltered corner of the
garden. The hanging lantern is 10in
long and made of copper, which will
weather attractively over time to
verdigris, and hangs from a two and a
half-inch brass chain. The Sparkla costs
£34.80 plus £4.50 for next-day delivery
if ordered by 3pm. Visit lumenalights.
com or call 01327 871161.
Special effects: copper garden light
I G H T I N G the garden in
summer, when all you need
are a few hurricane lamps and
a stash of votive candles, is a
breeze. In winter, however,
when the garden becomes a big black
hole after teatime, a more technological
approach is needed, preferably one that
involves a mere flick of a switch to totally
transform the space.
“Most of our clients request different
areas they can light up, so we will set up
several different circuits, depending on
how the client uses the garden,” says
Mike Shackleton, who switched from
lighting films to lighting gardens and,
with his company Ornamental Garden
Lighting, makes London gardens come
alive at night.
“There are two elements to consider,
practical and aesthetic. Steps and pathways should be made visible, so they
are safe to use. With a little clever creative lighting, the whole space can look
“Soft and subtle is the way to go. What
we see on almost every job we take on
is a fierce 1,000W halogen light attached
to the house gutter, which lights up the
garden like Sainsbury’s car park, shining
into the neighbour’s bedroom. All those
lights are adjustable, which people don’t
seem to realise. If you must have one,
simply tilt it downwards so it lights your
property, not everybody else’s.”
If you are buying light fittings, buy the
best you can afford, says Shackleton,
and go for LED, which although a little
costlier, lasts far longer than halogen,
O Ornamental Garden Lighting: (01252
783009), for design and installation.
Costs start at £1,500 for a small-space
O Light IQ: (020 8749
1900), for outdoor light fittings. From
£104.16 for one LED uplighter
O Groves Nurseries: grovesnurseries. (01308 422654), for outdoor
light fittings. From £29.25 for one
low-voltage deck light
Photographs:: Marianne Majerus
Craft Homes & Property with
Across the city,
Londoners are
crowding into shops
and studios to learn
craft skills, reports
Barbara Chandler
Hot pants: learn
sewing skills from
Lisa Comfort at
Sew Over It in
Islington (main
picture), or make
stars from beautiful
papers, below left,
at Smug gift shop,
also in Islington
HE capital has a mania
for making things this Christmas. There’s a class for
everything from decorations
to cards, gifts and flowers,
delivered in style by top creatives. The
movement is full of enthusiastic teachers in big stores, markets and boutique
homeware shops. So get out there, and
get stuck in.
Just opened in Islington is Sew Over
It — you can’t miss the lilac shop front
in Myddelton Street. Sewing super-
Add some
crackers and
sequined baubles, far
left, by Homemade
London craft salon
woman Lisa Comfort has a branch in
Clapham already, with café, kits, haberdashery and more. Check out a raft
of Christmas courses. You could run
up some decorations, or a bow tie,
or even a pair of frilly knickers. Visit
Also in Islington, at gift shop Smug,
hand-make a dozen decorations, a
clutch of cards and a stash of wrapping
(November 23, 1.30pm, £18). Or fold
origami stars from beautiful designer
papers (November 30, 1pm, £18). Call
020 7354 0253 or visit
Billed as a “craft salon”, Homemade
London is run by Nicola Barron in an
airy Portman Village boutique near
Marble Arch. Christmas action includes
sequined bauble sessions (November
28, December 4-5, £35). Or make crack-
Festive frills
ers, hand-cut paper cards, or block
print napkins. A grand Christmas craft
party is on December 18, £25 (
Hackney’s supreme crafter, Barley
Massey, has all-year workshops at her
quirky gallery/shop in Broadway Market. For Christmas, learn lino printing
with artist Jane Smith (November 29,
£30). Snip Christmas tree bunting at
an all-day demo for Brother sewing
machines (December 4, free). Or knit
canine bootees with the authors of
Outrageously Adorable Dog Knits
(December 10, free). Call 020 7275 8043
or visit
At Debenhams, designer Ashley
Thomas will waltz you through a handmade Christmas on Friday from 5pm.
And there are free meals for kids on
Saturday and Sunday, with biscuit
decorating, face painting and toy
demos. Check Twitter for updates
@debenhams. At John Lewis head for
haberdashery on the fourth floor for
Christmas crafting on November 29,
stocking making on December 6 and
decoration making on December 11
( Heal’s is doing
Christmas wreath-making workshops
in W1, SW3 and Kingston, £40 (heals. — and don’t miss a free
Christmas party with all the trimmings
on November 27, at all branches.
Say it with festive flowers, tutored by
interior designer/florist Zita Elze. Her
classes, though pricey, fill up fast, with
an intensive pre-Christmas schedule
in Kew, on multiple dates. Visit zitaelze.
com or call 020 8940 0040. Shape a
wreath for £189, or a spectacular 6ft 6in
garland mounted on ribbon for £210,
or do table decorations for £180.
Share Jo Woodward’s exquisite contemporary style in a one-hour session
at Boxpark and leave with a wreath — a
snip at £25, December 8, 13, 15 and 20
(07834 270125; columbiacreative. Write cards with a flourish in
SW11 with illustrator Rebecca Cahill
Roots. Christmas calligraphy evening,
Tuesday next week, £25 (020 7924
2931; Or make a
winter artwork with artist Stephanie
Wilkinson at a free drop-in “taster”
class at Teddington Baptist Church on
Saturday. Call 07876 015238 or visit
The National Trust radiates good
cheer. Morden Hall Park on December 6-7 and 13-14 offers a Christmas
market and workshops for kids on
candles and pompoms. Book a session
with Father Christmas, £8 (020 8545
The Saturday Market project is an
offbeat, arty outfit promoting skills
with kits, materials and workshops.
Learn to make traditional Finnish straw
decorations on December 12-14 at the
Barbican Christmas Market. And they’ll
demonstrate the arcane art of wax
crayon-making at Heal’s on December
13 (
London’s Christmas markets offer
workshops galore. Cockpit Arts has
jolly Christmas Open Studios in Holborn
(November 28-30) and Deptford
(December 5-7). Fashion-knitter Row
Pinto helps children make decs, souping up her knitted fabrics with buttons,
jewels and gems for free (020 7419 1959; Crafty Fox runs free
Christmas markets in Dalston, Brixton
and Peckham with 250 designer-makers
plus fun craft sessions. Visit
Close Brothers champions the makers, risk takers
and entrepreneurs. That’s Modern Merchant Banking.
Merchant banking has a long history of supporting entrepreneurial spirit. At Close Brothers, we combine responsible
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Homes & Property Property searching
HE good burghers of ancient
a n d h i s t o r i c C r o yd o n
decided back in the Sixties
it would be a good idea to
tear down the town centre,
build tower blocks to attract big business and drive a major road right
through the middle of it all. Fifty years
on, Croydon is reinventing itself once
more, with a £1 billion regeneration
plan. Its tired shopping centres are to
be replaced with a glitzy Westfield mall
to rival those at Shepherd’s Bush and
Stratford, while the nine-acre site next
to East Croydon train station will be
redeveloped with more than 600 new
homes, shops and offices.
It will be a long time, though, before
memories are erased of the night in
August 2011 when the House of Reeves
furniture shop in West Croydon went
up in flames during riots that followed
the fatal police shooting in Tottenham
of Mark Duggan, deemed a lawful killing by an inquest jury this year.
Photographs of a woman forced by
the fire to leap from the window of her
nearby first-floor flat into the arms of
rescuers are among defining images of
that summer’s unrest. Today, the
Reeves family business survives in
nearby buildings and the burnt-out
store has been demolished and
replaced with a forest of mature trees
in large containers.
Croydon still has its quaint historic
corners, most of which bear the name
of one man — John Whitgift, a tyrannical Elizabethan Archbishop of Canterbury who attended Queen Elizabeth I
on her deathbed in 1603 and who himself died the following year. Four centuries later the charity he endowed
lives on, supporting the elderly in historic almshouses and modern care
homes, and the young in three private
schools where many of the pupils are
backed by bursaries.
Croydon sits 10 miles due south of
central London close to the A23 London to Brighton Road, with Sutton to
the west, Purley to the south, Bromley
to the north-east and Thornton Heath
and Streatham to the north.
The most expensive house currently
for sale is a 6,700sq ft listed white
stucco property with six bedrooms in
Boundary Way, Addington Village, a
few miles east of the town centre. With
just under an acre and a half of garden
and an outdoor swimming pool, it is
on the market for £1.75 million (see
Shirley Hills is Croydon’s most expensive area, with roads of large, detached
houses built mainly in the Twenties with
New homes: the
striking pink and
mauve 43-storey
Saffron Square
tower, right. Left,
Croydon College
offers further and
higher education
Spotlight Croydon
and ready for
a busy future
With glitzy shops and hundreds of new homes
on the way, this town 10 miles from London is
preparing for a boom, says Anthea Masey
and Thirties, in spacious grounds. A
seven-bedroom house with a carriage
driveway in Oaks Road backs on to
Shirley Park Golf Club and is priced at
£1,495,000 (see homesandproperty.
Houses on the Whitgift Foundation
estate, south of Addiscombe Road and
east of the town centre, are sought
after, and many are in the Arts & Crafts
st yle. A five-bedroom house in
Grimwade Avenue, near the Sandilands
Tramlink stop and backing on to Lloyd
Park, is for sale for £960,000 (homes
South Croydon, with its own train
station, has large, detached Edwardian
houses, including one with six bedrooms in Croham Park Avenue. In need
of decoration, the asking price is
£900,000 (see homesandproperty.
Away from these streets of Croydon’s
best homes, this is a neighbourhood
for finding good-value, three-bedroom
family houses which, on the sprawling
New Addington estate, start at about
£230,000. A three-bedroom semidetached Victorian house in Selsdon
Road, South Croydon, is for sale at
£335,000 (homesandproperty.
Croydon offers modern houses, too.
Three-bedroom townhouses in the
Park Hill area, built in the Seventies by
Wates close to East Croydon station,
sell for around £350,000. In recent
years, many town centre flats have
been built and more are under construction, but there are also period
conversions, including a one-bedroom
first-floor flat in an Edwardian house
in Croham Park Avenue, with a communal garden, on sale for £220,000
Up and coming: two small conservation areas are worth exploring. St Bernards in the Park Hill area is an enclave
of 21 architecturally adventurous houses
designed by Swiss practice Atelier 5 and
built into a hill by Wates in the Seventies.
You enter the houses on the first floor,
and the bedrooms are on the floor
below. One of these homes sold for
£376,000 last year.
The Waldrons conservation area,
south of Duppas Hill Road, has early
Victorian villas. The last semi-detached
house to sell here went for £500,000
a year ago.
Forestdale is an area of Sixties and
Seventies houses, also mostly built by
Wates, south-east of the town centre
and served by Gravel Hill tram stop.
Arranged in culs-de-sac, each in a different architectural style, three-bedroom houses start at about £250,000,
and the area is popular with young firsttime renters who grew up locally.
Open space: Lloyd Park in Coombe
Road has a café, children’s playground,
bowling green and an outdoor gym.
Wandle Park recently reopened after
a £4 million facelift that included restoration work on the River Wandle.
Fairfield Halls in Park Lane is a bit like
a mini Festival Hall, with a concert hall,
a theatre and an art gallery. It stages a
variety of events including popular and
To find a home in Croydon, visit:
A FOUR-BEDROOM cottage packed with original
features in Waldrons Path, Bramley Hill in
South Croydon. Through Shinerocks.
O Visit
THIS classic three-bedroom semi in Portnalls
Road, Coulsdon, built in 1918, has been updated
recently. Available through Andrews.
O Visit
A HANDSOME five-bedroom house, set in mature
gardens and with a garage, in Hollymead Road,
Chipstead, Coulsdon. Through Savills.
O Visit
A TWO-BEDROOM detached modern gatehouse in
Hereford Mews, Beddington, Croydon, beautifully
maintained. For sale through Cubitt & West.
O Visit
Property searching Homes & Property with
(Average prices)
One-bedroom flat £233,000
Two-bedroom flat £296,000
Two-bedroom house £288,000
Three-bedroom house £337,000
Four-bedroom house £504,000
Source: Zoopla
Getting around: Croydon pioneered
the tram’s return to British streets
Best of the bunch: Surrey Street market, open six days a
week. Croydon has had a market since the 13th century
classical music shows, dance, theatre,
comedy and film. The Warehouse
Theatre, which was the area’s leading
fringe venue, closed in 2012 and was
demolished to make way for the mixeduse Ruskin Square development next
to East Croydon station. Developers
have handed the local council £3 million to replace the Warehouse.
There are new studio theatres above
The Spread Eagle pub in Katharine
Street and in Matthews Yard cultural
and community hub off Surrey Street
in the town centre.
There is a 10-screen multiplex cinema
in the former Grants department store
in the High Street, while art films are
Heritage site: built in 1808 as a flour mill, Shirley
Windmill was restored and is open to the public
@ruthwharram @TheLittleBay is
lovely — always had a great meal in
@andynotjames top pubs: @The
OvalTavern, the Green Dragon and
@DogBullCroydon. @MatthewsYard is a
great bar/cafe/workspace
@InsideCroydon Bad Apple: a place
for fun in the heart of #Croydon
@InsideCroydon La Spezia — a little
piece of Italy in a corner of South
@InsideCroydon Einstein is back at his
brilliant best at The Spread Eagle
@MattCPFC can’t not mention
@TheLittleBay and @Bagattis. Royal
Tandoori Selsdon also
@rjw1 the Royal Standard under the
flyover, @AlbertsTable, and Mazi in
London Road
@AlbertsTable we think that our
#Croydon restaurant is pretty good
@Sing_My_Name agree... @Alberts
Table is best restaurant in Croydon
NEXT WEEK: Clapton. Do you
live there? Tell us what you
think @HomesProperty
shown at the David Lean Cinema in the
Croydon Clocktower in Katharine
Street. Close to open Surrey countryside, Croydon is served by golf clubs
including Shirley Park in Addiscombe
Road; Addington Palace in Gravel Hill,
Addington Golf Club in Shirley Church
Road, and Selsdon Park Hotel & Golf
Club in Addington Road.
The nearest council-owned swimming pool is at the Waddon Leisure
Centre in Purley Way, with a main pool
and a learner pool. There are private
members pools at Croydon’s two Virgin
Active health clubs, in Surrey Street
and in Hannibal Way, off Purley Way.
Travel: Croydon pioneered the reintroduction of trams on British streets.
Tramlink connects Wimbledon with
Beckenham Junction, Elmers End and
New Addington, running through Croydon, passing East Croydon and West
Croydon stations, and the Ampere Way
stop serves the Purley Way industrial
and retail parks on the western edge of
Croydon, including the Ikea store.
East Croydon has fast trains to London Bridge and Victoria, in about 18
minutes. South Croydon is on the same
line and takes a few minutes more.
West Croydon also has trains to London
Bridge and Victoria that take around
22 minutes, a few minutes longer from
Waddon on the same line. West Croydon is also on the Overground with
trains to Canada Water, where commuters change for Canary Wharf. All
stations are in Zone 5 and an annual
travelcard to Zone 1 costs £2,136.
Council: Croydon council is Labour
controlled and Band D council tax this
year is £1,470.39.
(Average rates)
One-bedroom flat £821 a month
Two-bedroom flat £1,175 a month
Two-bedroom house £1,214 a month
Three-bedroom house £1,378 a month
Four-bedroom house £1,635 a month
Source: Zoopla
O The best schools in Croydon
O The best shops and restaurants
O The latest housing developments
in and around the district
O The lowdown on the rental scene
O The best streets in Croydon
O How this area compares with the
rest of the UK on house prices
O Smart maps to plot your
property search
For all this and more, visit
Photographs: Graham Hussey
Where in Croydon might you find
fairies? Discover the answer at
Regis specialise in the purchase of freehold ground rents.
With historically low interest rates sell now to maximise
the return on your investment.
Contact us for an immediate offer.
Contact Todd Harrison-Moore
T 020 7318 2285 I M 07732 060 528 I E I
Homes & Property Letting on
NVESTING in bricks and mortar
can be a risky business, as I was
reminded this week when the
builder working on a kitchen
extension, which was supposed
to add about 10 per cent to the value
of my property, forgot the first lesson
of construction: always make sure a
house is adequately supported
BEFORE knocking down a wall.
One second everything was fine,
the next a metal beam rolled off the
prop that was supposed to be holding
it up, the back of the building sagged
and the brickwork in the thenunsupported first floor cracked like a
soft-boiled egg.
In less time than it takes to shout:
“Timber!” I reckon the value of my
investment fell by more than the 10
per cent I was trying to add.
As we surveyed the jagged gouges
in the bedroom wall and stared at the
gap where, ordinarily, walls and
ceiling would meet, I mentioned to
the builder that this was probably a
good time for him to show me his
insurance policy.
In the moment’s silence that
followed I realised that I had forgotten
lesson number one of property
developing: always check your
builder’s insurance BEFORE he
knocks down any walls. I had checked
he was insured, I’m not totally daft,
but I hadn’t bothered to read all the
boring small print. Thankfully I was
covered. Insurance can be a life-saver,
but only if you’ve got the right sort.
Landlord insurance is absolutely
vital for anyone letting a property, with
Please, just step
away from the
Victoria Whitlock thanks heaven for insurance
and issues a warning to us all as building work
cracks her investment property wall like an egg
but there are so many exclusions, so
many ways in which insurers can
wriggle out of settling claims, that
you really do have to wade through
all the terms and conditions to make
sure you’ve got enough protection.
A paper ran a story recently about a
landlord whose home in Devon was
trashed by the tenants while he and
his wife were abroad doing voluntary
work. His insurer refused to pick up
the bill for the £56,000 damage
because he had only taken out
standard home insurance. The guy
had made his insurance broker aware
that the property was tenanted, and
so he had assumed the insurers
would pick up the bill, but his policy
didn’t offer protection for malicious
damage, or for damage caused by
anyone lawfully on the property.
Unfortunately these exclusions are
quite common, even in some policies
designed specifically for landlords.
You can get cover for malicious
damage caused by tenants, but it
usually costs extra.
Other common exclusions to look
out for include theft by the tenant,
and accidental damage. You would
£1,733 a month: in Barons Court Road, W14, Faron Sutaria has a one-bedroom,
modern-style apartment, with wooden floors and a private terrace, available to
rent in this handsome period terrace. Visit
think these would be a standard part
of landlord insurance, but they are
not. Again, cover for these can
usually be bolted on, for an extra fee.
Also, when you are buying landlord
insurance, don’t forget to check the
excess — the amount the insurance
company will deduct from any claim
— because this is often higher for
malicious or accidental damage.
In addition, make sure your
insurance will cover you for the type
of tenant you have. Many policies will
only cover “professional tenants”, so
your insurance might be void if you
let to students or tenants claiming
housing benefit. I would urge
landlords, go and check the terms
and conditions of your insurance
right now and make sure you have
got enough protection, just in case
you ever need to make a claim. If you
don’t have any insurance at all, get
some as soon as possible. You see,
bad things can happen, occasionally.
O Victoria Whitlock lets three
properties in south London.
To contact Victoria with your ideas
and views, tweet @vicwhitlock
Find many more homes to rent at
Homes & Property Letting on with
What are the pitfalls of taking in a lodger?
I HAVE been widowed for
two years. My house is a
decent size and my
friends suggest that rather
than rattle around on my own any
longer, I should take in a lodger.
Can you suggest the best way to go
about this, and is there anything
for me to be particularly aware of?
MOST importantly, as a
lodger will live with you as
part of your household and
will share some areas of your
home with you, such as the bathroom
and/or the kitchen, be sure to choose
someone you feel you will be able to
live with in close proximity.
Depending on who your lodger is
and how you came to choose them,
and especially if it is someone you do
not know at all, consider obtaining
references for them. And make sure
you take up those references — don’t
just get the names of referees.
If your home is mortgaged you may
have to get the permission of your
lender to rent out a room, so notify
them of your intention. If you are
eligible for a single person discount
on your council tax you will probably
lose that if you take in a lodger,
although you may keep it in certain
circumstances, for example, if the
lodger is a student.
It would be wise to have a brief
written agreement with your lodger
containing house rules. Prepare an
inventory of their room contents and
take photographs. You may also wish
to take a deposit from your lodger.
Tell your buildings and contents
insurers about your lodger, as your
premiums may be affected. And if
you pay tax, you are allowed to earn
up to £4,250 a year tax free under the
government Rent a Room scheme.
Make sure your electrical
appliances and the house wiring are
in good order and safe, and you will
need an annual gas safety check.
Furniture must comply with fire
safety regulations.
IF YOU have a
question for
Fiona McNulty,
please email
[email protected]
or write to Legal
Solutions, Homes
& Property,
London Evening
Standard, 2 Derry
Street, W8 5EE.
We regret that
questions cannot
be answered
individually but
we will try to
feature them
here. Fiona
McNulty is a
partner in the
property, farms
and estates team
at Withy King LLP
More legal
Visit: homesand
I LIVE with my long-term partner and saw in
the news that the rules regarding intestacy
have changed recently. Neither of us has
made a will. How do the recent changes affect
us? I don’t have children but my partner has two by a
previous relationship.
IF A person dies without making a valid will they
are said to have died intestate. Only partners who
are married or who are in a civil partnership may
inherit under the rules of intestacy, as these rules
do not apply to cohabiting couples.
Changes to the intestacy rules were made on October 1
this year but the position relating to unmarried couples,
and couples who have not entered into a civil partnership,
remains unchanged. So in fact the changes have not
helped you at all.
Accordingly, if one of you were to die without leaving a
will, then there is no presumption under the law that the
surviving partner would receive anything from the estate
of the deceased.
This means that if your partner were to die without
making a will, and owning the whole interest in your
home, then that property would pass to his or her next of
kin, in line with the rules of intestacy. Your deceased
partner’s interest in the property and any other assets in
their name would therefore be shared equally between
their two children.
To avoid uncertainty, feelings of insecurity and the
possibility of unpleasant family disputes in the future,
you may both wish to consider making your wills.
O These answers can only be a very brief commentary on
the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice.
No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar
issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.
Homes & Property Inside story with
Lie down in a
darkened room
... and admire the
art collection
In our Clapham office, the week starts
with a call from a relocation agent with
yet another client who works for
Google. Relocation agents used to deal
mainly with bankers, but currently it’s
employees of Google or Facebook.
Today’s agent is asking about The Old
Printworks, an amazing five-bedroom
house in SW4 that belongs to a film
director and is on the rental market for
£1,400 a week. It’s designed to look like
an Ibiza nightclub and the Google client
is wowed by the gold ceilings in the
bathrooms and a kitchen set up to
resemble a trendy bar —perfect for
media types.
We are dealing with eight duplex
penthouses at Metropolitan Wharf in
Wapping, five of which have already
been let for the asking prices of up to
£3,500 per week. They were designed
by Tom Dixon and have a unique industrial look, with huge open spaces and
I am off to a launch this evening of a
building in Sloane Street which property company Cadogan Estates, a
client of ours, has redeveloped.
Cadogan has collaborated with the
“design bible” Wallpaper* to create
a pop-up apartment showcasing the
ultimate in modern, stylish London
Instead of the safe, blank-canvas
neutral décor which rental properties
often have, they have played with
strong colours in one of the apartments. These are hues which
no one is usually brave enough to
entertain, but everyone at the launch
is thrilled at the sight of navy blue and
burnt sienna on the walls.
It’s so refreshing — perhaps not for
everyone, but a taste of things to
come, I think.
Diary of
an estate
features including fireplaces suspended from the ceiling, brass and
steel Boffi kitchens and special heatretaining lava tiles from Mount Etna.
These unusual spaces are perfect for
bankers, or for directors from the fashion, media and tech industries, and
they bring a new level of interior design
to London rental properties.
A wealthy French art collector calls
this morning to say she would like to
rent one, as the wall space is perfect to
display her art collection. She specifically requests that special blinds are
installed to darken the rooms to protect
her art — somewhat ironic, as these
penthouses were designed to let the
light flood in.
Our Tower Bridge office is one of our
busiest for rentals at the moment,
along with the Islington and Wapping
branches. A new development in Bear
Lane, next to Tate Modern, is so popular that a negotiator is blocking out two
hours every day to do mass viewings
of the nine apartments there, which
are priced from £425 to £650 a week.
The developer had intended to sell the
flats but decided to hand over all nine
to us for rental instead. It has turned
out to be a good move, because half of
them rented out within the first week,
before the building was even finished.
They are just what the South Bank
market wants — clean, brand-new, high
quality and with showroom-style
kitchens and bathrooms.
This morning starts with a seminar
with one of the main property portals.
We find out that they have played
secret squirrel and sent fake enquiries
to all lettings agents to see who replies
first and most thoroughly, and we are
the winners. Sally from our newest
office in Blackheath beats all our rival
We also enjoy the swanky breakfast
and can’t help wondering if it is an
attempt to butter us up in light of the
forthcoming launch of a new property
O Zoe Innes is head of residential
lettings at Cluttons (020 3641 0517)
Homes & Property New homes
Live on the fringe and lap up Putney’s
bar-and-bistro, riverside lifestyle
AS WITH all London’s inner
suburbs, Putney is bursting at the
edges, swollen with home buyers
and renters priced out of the
centre. Traditionally a family area,
it is now attracting far more singles
and couples, mainly City career
professionals and discerning
downsizers who value the riverside
setting, the bars and bistros and the
open acres of Richmond Park.
The high street sweeps down the
hill to Putney Bridge, where a
wedge-shaped neighbourhood lies
between the river and Upper
Richmond Road. On to this busy
patch has arrived a cache of new
flats, mainly office-to-residential
redevelopments, a smart
alternative to Putney’s postwar,
purpose-built mansion blocks.
Carlton Gate in Putney Hill is a
low-rise, Art Deco-style block of 24
two-bedroom flats priced from
From £875,000:
flats at Carlton
Gate, Putney Hill.
Call 020 8879
£875,000. Penthouses cost from
£1.42 million. Call estate agent
Lauristons on 020 8879 9099.
Putney Plaza, across the road
from East Putney Tube station,
promises to be a new hub with four
contemporary-design blocks of
flats grouped around street-level
shops and landscaped open
spaces. Prices from £515,000.
Call Hamptons International on
020 8788 5217.
London Square Putney is another
scheme of architectural note, with
interlocking buildings clad in
warm, textured bricks — 113 flats,
including penthouses with big
terraces. The flats have underfloor
heating and winter gardens with
access from both bedroom and
lounge, and there are communal
gardens, underground parking
and 24-hour concierge. Prices from
£545,000. Call 0333 666 2838. with
By David Spittles
Smart mo
It comes with a
Tudor tunnel
magnificent mansion in
Aylesford, Kent, is one for
commuters with an appetite
for history. It was the
country residence of the Culpeper
family whose members included
Joyce Culpeper, mother of Catherine
Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife who
was beheaded for adultery.
In Victorian times the house was
rebuilt in the present Jacobean style
by railway baron Edward Ladd Betts,
and in the First World War it served as
a hospital for traumatised soldiers.
Later part of the NHS, it has lain
empty since 2012, but meticulous
restoration is returning the turreted
property to its former glory, rescuing
historic hammer-beamed ceilings,
wood-panelled walls, stained-glass
windows and coats of arms.
Developer Weston Homes is creating
36 luxury apartments, some with
double-height mezzanine spaces, and
is also bringing back into use the
ancient hall’s network of tunnels and
wine cellars that date from Tudor
times. A show home will be ready for
viewing in January. Prices from
£170,000. Call 01279 873333.
From £170,000: flats at Preston Hall,
Kent, Catherine Howard’s family home
New homes Homes & Property with
THE fate of the Comfort Inn
backpackers’ hotel at Craven Hill
Gardens is a telltale sign of the way
Bayswater is going — upmarket.
The inn, and the adjacent Hempel
Hotel, once a celebrity hangout, are
being knocked together and turned
into a boutique residential scheme
of 34 lateral apartments, left, and
townhouses set behind the grand
original white stucco façades.
Residents have access to a garden
square — the location for the Julia
Roberts and Hugh Grant wedding
scene in the film Notting Hill.
Prices from £2.3 million. Call
Knight Frank on 020 7861 5499 for
more information.
Read more: visit
our new online
luxury section
COSTLY winter fuel bills are a
compelling reason to buy an energyefficient new home. Townhouses at
Cobalt Place, Battersea, are among the
most highly rated in London, due to an
advanced form of timber construction
that reduces the amount of energy
needed to heat the building by 40 per
cent, while also improving air quality
and cutting noise pollution.
Admirably, the architecture proves
that wooden homes do not have to
look like the inside of a sauna.
Lend Lease, the developer, has
launched “normal-looking” tripleglazed houses with an outer layer of
warm brick. Exposed timber ceilings
are the only hint of the inner leaf.
Buy blue and
go green in
Set over three levels, the homes each
have a white, open-plan interior on the
ground floor, linked to a walled private
The houses form part of a scheme of
104 homes, mainly flats, that slots
unobtrusively into the neighbourhood,
which is on the cusp of Battersea
Village conservation area.
Prices from £1.15 million. Call 020
8879 9099 for more details.
+" +++
! !! +
"$$,%('(,2.##,2*(( ( &))
! ! Prices from
£1.15 million:
Cobalt Place