‘The Island’ sets records, with thousands of new homes in the UK’s tallest residential towers and Europe’s biggest urban farm.
Average costs: buying and renting
1 Flat £461,000 or £1,623 a month
2 Flat £654,000 or £2,240 a month
3 House £758,000 or £2,252 a month
4 House £1.1 m or £2,605 a month
Locals call it “The Island” and with only two road routes in and out, you can see why. The Isle of Dogs in east London occupies the largest loop in the Thames and despite years of development and with the gleaming towers of Canary Wharf on its northern boundary, it remains proud of its working-class Docklands roots.
Estate agent Tushar Wadhwani of Chestertons says people whose families have lived locally for generations mix well with newcomers who work in Canary Wharf. “Couples used to move out once they had children. With the schools improving, now they are increasingly staying.” Two iconic views define the Isle of Dogs — the rural scene of grazing cows and sheep at Mudchute Park and Farm set against the backdrop of Canary Wharf skyscrapers, and the grand, classical panorama of the Old Royal Naval College across the river in Greenwich to the south.
Initially earmarked for a high-rise estate, the park site was saved as open space by the local community in the Seventies. A working farm emerged, now run by a charity, with riding stables, cows, pigs, goats, llamas, alpacas, chickens, ducks and geese. A moving spirit behind Mudchute Park and Farm was Dr Michael Barraclough, who lives on the Isle of Dogs. He also pioneered a self-build scheme in the mid-Eighties of 89 homes for locals in Maconochies Wharf off Westferry Road, by architects Stout & Litchfield.
The Isle of Dogs in east London occupies the largest loop in the Thames (Daniel Lynch)
Development on the Isle of Dogs was historically a mix of low-rise estates of houses and flats with a few warehouse conversions but a new wave of residential towers, including some of the tallest in the country, are rising in Marsh Wall, the road dividing the Isle and Canary Wharf.
First was Pan Peninsula, Ballymore’s towers of 48 and 38 storeys, in 2009. Baltimore Tower followed, its twisting floors overlooking Millwall Inner Dock.
Now Berkeley Group is building 1,338 flats in South Quay Plaza; EcoWorld Ballymore has 764 flats at Wardian; Galliard is selling 642 new homes at Harbour Central; LBS Properties has 423 flats at The Madison, and Chalegrove Properties’ Landmark Pinnacle offers 984 homes. The most southerly point of the Isle of Dogs is five miles south-east of central London with Canary Wharf to the north. Across the Thames, there’s Greenwich Peninsula to the east; Greenwich to the south and Canada Water and Rotherhithe to the west.
The property scene
Homes on the Isle of Dogs range from Twenties dockers’ cottages to Victorian terraces in Coldharbour and Mellish Street; estates of social housing to Eighties and Nineties low-rise riverside schemes; a few warehouse conversions such as Burrells Wharf, and now thousands of new flats in shiny towers are being built close to Canary Wharf.
The Berkeley Group is building South Quay Plaza, with studios at £820,000; one-bedroom flats at £920,000; two-bedroom flats at £1,255,000 and three-bedroom flats at £1,635,000 million. Sales are off-plan for completion in 2021. Call 020 3468 7975.Also on Marsh Wall but at its western end near Westferry Road, EcoWorld Ballymore is building Wardian in two towers, one 50 storeys and the other 55 storeys, named after the Victorian glass cases used to transport rare plants across the globe.
Studios start at £623,000, with one-bedroom flats at £726,000 and two-bedroom flats at £980,000. Call 020 7436 1222 (wardianlondon.com).Harbour Central is a Galliard Homes scheme in five buildings including the 42-storey Maine Tower in Mastmaker Road off Marsh Wall. One-bedroom flats start at £725,000, with two-bedroom flats at £1.1 million and three-bedroom flats at £1.2 million. Sales are off-plan for completion in 2020. Call 020 7620 1500.
The Madison in Meridian Place off Marsh Wall is a 53-storey block with studios at £589,000, one-bedroom flats at £765,000, two-bedroom flats at £973,000, three-bedroom flats at £1,418,000 and penthouses priced £1,733,000, for completion mid-2020. Call JLL on 020 3797 4529 (themadison.co.uk).
Housing association Network Homes is putting the finishing touches to shared-ownership one-, two- and three-bedroom flats with balconies in Millharbour overlooking Millwall Inner Dock.Prices start at £236,000 for a 40 per cent share of a one-bedroom flat with a market value of £590,000.Two-bedroom flats start at £195,000 for 30 per cent of a flat worth £650,000 and three-bedroom flats start at £210,000 for 25 per cent of a home worth £840,000. Call 020 7704 5618.
Canary Wharf workers rent one-bedroom flats and there’s demand for family-size rentals of a year or two from Canary Wharf financial firms for staff from overseas.
Local Chestertons agent Tushar Wadhwani says there is a perception that the Isle of Dogs is quiet, verging on dead. “That might have been so 10 years ago but when people come and look for themselves they see that’s no longer the case. The opening of a new secondary school run by the team behind the very popular Canary Wharf College primary school is providing an incentive for families to stay in the area.”
The Isle of Dogs is in the E14 postcode which includes Poplar, Limehouse and Canary Wharf.
“It is more a question of best new developments”, says Tushar Wadhwani. “Pan Peninsula on Marsh Wall is now nearly 10 years old but still sets the standard, and I also rate Baltimore Wharf overlooking Millwall Inner Basin.”
Up and coming
According to Tushar Wadhwani the low-rise riverside flats and houses built in the Eighties and Nineties represent good value. “I am currently selling a one-bedroom riverside flat in Cumberland Mills for £320,000, which is good value for Zone 2.”
The Isle of Dogs is on the Docklands Light Railway with stations at South Quay, Crossharbour, Mudchute and Island Gardens and trains to Canary Wharf, Bank and Tower Gateway.
Crossrail arrives at Canary Wharf next year, cutting journey times to the West End, Paddington and Heathrow. All stations are in Zone 2. An annual travelcard to Zone 1 costs £1,364.
Tower Hamlets council is Labour controlled. Band D council tax in 2018/2019 is £1,280.37.
Thanks to Homes and Property for the post: https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/area-guides/tower-hamlets-borough/isle-of-dogs/living-on-the-isle-of-dogs-area-guide-to-homes-schools-and-transport-links-a123611.html