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Neighbourhood Watch: Woolwich

Setting the scene

FEW places can lay claim to such long and strong military links as Woolwich. The Royal Dockyard was established by Henry VIII in 1512 and the Royal Arsenal was once the country’s biggest munitions producer, employing up to 80,000 people. The town was also home to the Royal Military Academy, which trained officers and is the birthplace of Arsenal FC. Today, Royal Arsenal Riverside is one of Europe’s biggest mixed-use regeneration projects, with a new Crossrail station on site. The Elizabeth Line will enhance the already impressive transport connections, which include Southeastern and DLR trains, plus Thames Clipper river buses to Westminster.

Snooping around

WOOLWICH is traditionally a bastion of local authority housing, as well as Victorian terraces and an enclave of 1930s semis. ‘Woolwich is an exciting pocket of London that has seen a new wave of young professionals come in over the past few years and investors are snapping up properties in anticipation of Crossrail,’ says Dennis Opara of Dexters. ‘It’s a great place to live, with reasonably priced homes, some enjoying views of the Thames. One-bed resale flats can be picked up from about £220,000 and new builds are £300,000 plus.’

What’s new

BERKELEY’S Royal Arsenal Riverside will comprise around 5,000 homes in both new and converted buildings. At Waterfront III, next to the forthcoming Waterfront Park, studios are from £432,500 and one-bed apartments from £480,000, while seven remaining duplex penthouses in an earlier phase start from £1.395million. There are 25 one and two-bed apartments at Kinetic at Cannon Square, offered at 20 per cent below market value through Berkeley’s discount market share scheme to buyers living or working in the borough, from £322,000.

Trinity Walk, from Lovell Homes, is part of the Trinity Woolwich regeneration scheme and properties range from one-bed flats to four-bed townhouses, from £320,000.

At The Academy, Durkan Estates’ conversion of the Royal Military Academy into private homes, one-bed flats are from £485,000, while at King Henry’s Dock, a waterfront tower, apartments start at £480,000, Hamptons International.

One and two-bed Shared Ownership apartments are available at Deco in central Woolwich. They start from £120,750 for a 35 per cent share of full market value £345,000, Southern Home Ownership.

Vital statistics

Council tax: (Band D) 1,401.37
Commuting time: From 22 mins to London Bridge
Annual Travelcard: From £1,548

Amenities: ★★★☆☆ Tesco superstore; Blue Nile, boasting an Eritrean-Italian menu, and Curry Asia are popular neighbourhood restaurants; twice monthly farmers’ market; pubs; cafe, heritage centre, children’s centre and Academy Performing Arts at Royal Arsenal Riverside, where many more openings are in the pipeline; Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre at the Tramshed; Thames Barrier Information Centre

Open space: ★★★☆☆ Woolwich Common; Maryon Park; Thames Path
Schools: ★★★★☆ Above average up to GCSE level. Ofsted rates nearly all local primaries as good or outstanding
Crime: ★★☆☆☆ Higher than average
Who lives there? Young professionals in their droves
Famous faces: Matt Damon filmed scenes from last year’s Bourne film, Jason Bourne, at Woolwich Arsenal DLR station

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‘We see mainly Canary Wharf and City professionals looking for apartments in the sought-after Royal Arsenal development. New build flats average £1,350 pcm for one-bed and £1,500 for two-beds,’ says Divyesh Bhanderi of Foxtons.

Property ladder