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East London on the Rise

Shoreditch is on the cusp of a real change, just ask estate agent in Shoreditch, Peach Properties who know all about this up and coming area.

The area of Bishopsgate is set for a serious redevelopment programme that will have an impact on the whole neighbourhood.  Last week, a scheme went to the city planners that involved transforming Bishopsgate’s old railway shipping yard into an £800 million tech- focused district. The project hopes to win over locals, as it will provide 1,350 new homes, a brand new shopping area, green parks and warehouse-style office space.

The Bishopsgate Goods Yard site is composed of 10.3 acres that have been derelict for 50 years, making it perfect for the new scheme.  The site sits on the edge of the city’s financial district and the trendy area of Shoreditch, which over the last decade has seen many changes when it comes to the makeup of the borough.

There has been some opposition to the project though, with many locals and councilors claiming that it will “take the soul out of Shoreditch”.  The opponents see the construction of such tower blocks as a change too far and that given that Shoreditch is made up of small offices, cafés and independent shops; they believe that Bishopsgate could dominate the whole area, pushing out the local community.

Such construction projects will always be met with protest by locals and local firms, who see the gentrification of places like Shoreditch as a crime, pushing out poor people to make way for international business and city types.  But there are real positive factors when it comes to this development, after all, it makes use of brownfield land that has almost been unusable, since a fire in 1964. The opponents are trotting out their usual objections; but it would be fair to state that Shoreditch has not always held the makeup that it does today. Twenty to thirty years ago the area was nothing more than a bunch of old warehouses, most of which were unused and it’s only since the mid to late 90’s that the area has become a mecca for trendy types with the arrival of artists like Tracy Emin.  Old warehouses were turned into loft apartments or art galleries, and a new Shoreditch was born.  Once the hipsters came, house prices also rose, but the area was still perceived to have some “edge”.

The landscape of London has always been a fluid thing; times change, as do the requirements certain neighbourhoods need. The new development at Bishopsgate will provide jobs to those who need them and much-needed homes.  Granted, not all of them will be affordable; but, if you live in London or the Southeast, not much really is at the moment.  Bishopsgate is simply an example of what is fashionable in today’s property market, just like 20 years ago, Shoreditch changed for the better, with its trendy bars and hipster hangouts. Not everyone agreed about it then, you can’t please everyone after all.

There is no getting away from it: London is changing and regeneration may be coming to a borough near you. But, it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, as in this case, it’s far better to redevelop old brownfield sites than to leave them sitting there useless for generations to come.



Filed Under: uk property


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