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Neighbourhood Watch: Coulsdon

Tranquil: Cottages by the pond in Old Coulsdon PICTURE: ALAMY

Setting the scene

COULSDON sits on the edge of the North Downs on the London/Surrey border and the original settlement, Old Coulsdon, is the most southerly part of the capital. It strikes the balance between town and country. It’s inside the M25 — a ten-minute sprint down the A23 — yet Brighton is only an hour’s drive away, and there are fast trains into several London termini from its two stations. Schools are good, and buyers get more for their money than in many locations with a similar commuting time.

Well placed: Coulsdon has handy transport links PICTURE: ALAMY

What’s new

At Cane Hill Park, there are 677 homes on the site of a former psychiatric hospital. It includes a park, play areas, woodland walkways to shops, and London Help to Buy on homes less than £600,000. David Wilson Homes has three and four-bed houses from £587,995, Barratt Homes has three, four and five-bed houses. From £564,995 for a three-bed semi,

Lots of green nearby: Cane Hill Park

Smitham Yard from the Oakwood Group, is 51 one and two-bed flats next to Coulsdon Town station. There’s London Help to Buy: from £300,000 for a one-bed and £365,000 for a two, Frost Estate Agents,

Next to the station: Smitham Yard

A single one-bed flat remains at Avenue Court, half a mile from both Coulsdon stations. £259,999, with Help to Buy, Barnard Marcus,

Snooping around

Terrace talk: Victorian properties on Woodman Road PICTURE: ALAMY

The earliest buildings are in Old Coulsdon, where the Bradmore Green conservation area includes a 13th century church, an 18th century farmhouse and clusters of period cottages and 1930s stock predominates in central Coulsdon, and there’s also Victorian, Edwardian, 1980s, 1990s and new housing. ‘The demographic is wide-ranging — many buyers who were brought up in the area stay local, and there’s lots of traffic from London buyers,’ says Chris Knowles of Park & Bailey. ‘Compared to other boroughs Coulsdon is quite cheap: flats start at £200,000-£250,000, three-bed houses from £425,000 and four-bed houses are £600,000+.’

Vital statistics

Council tax: (Band D) £1,636.96

Commuting time: From Coulsdon South it takes 21 mins to London Bridge or 28 mins to Victoria; Coulsdon Town to London Bridge is 35 mins, Victoria 40 mins

Annual Travelcard (in Zone 6): £2,568

Amenities: ★★★☆☆ Waitrose, Aldi, Tesco Express; independent and chain stores and cafés on the high street; Doble Motorcycles is a long-established, family-run business; recommended pubs include the Pembroke, the Rambler’s Rest and the Tudor Rose in Old Coulsdon; Theatre Workshop Coulsdon stages a broad variety of productions; the main road is on the route of London to Brighton car rallies, runs and bike rides

Open space: ★★★★☆ Farthing Downs and Happy Valley Park; Coulsdon Common; Grange Park

Schools: ★★★★☆ Above-average A-level results; virtually all local state schools rated as outstanding or good by Ofsted

Crime: ★★★★☆ Below average

Who lives there? First-time buyers, couples and families in a wide range of jobs

Under cover: Bowie used a sketch of Cane Hill Hospital

Famous faces: The cover of the US version of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World album featured a sketch of Cane Hill Hospital

Rent report: ‘Tenants are a 50/50 mix of people working locally and those who commute into London. A good two-bed flat is £1,000 to £1,200pcm on average,’ says Danielle Denton of Bond & Sherwill.

Crime rates, open spaces and profile supplied by

Property ladder

First rung

£220,000 Bond & Sherwill,

A one-bed, lower ground floor maisonette close to Coulsdon Town station. Has an open-plan kitchen/living area, a decent-sized bedroom and a courtyard garden, and is chain-free.

Average for Coulsdon

£550,000, Park & Bailey,

Looking for a doer-upper? Then stop right here as this spacious, three-bed semi has great potential for refurbishment and is ready to be transformed into a stunning home. The average property in Coulsdon is currently valued at £564,608 according to

Luxury home

£1.25million, Kennedy’s,

Built in 2011, this impressive three-storey house includes a 33ft kitchen/living room, a master bedroom suite with dressing room, and entertaining and play areas in the recently landscaped garden.