Property: For life on the waterfront, look west

Hot Spot: Brentford

ACROSS THE Thames from Kew and sandwiched between quaint Old Isleworth and pricey Chiswick is a stretch of river bordered by derelict warehouses and surrounded by grotty estates. Here posh shopping isn't Hobbs, it's Budgens.

But through a developer's eyes, derelict spells opportunity, especially if the dereliction is of the riverside variety. Brentford, long overlooked, has been noticed.

Often forgotten within Brentford itself is Brentford Dock, a sprawling 600-unit low-rise residential estate, contained snugly within a triangular 26-acre site bordered by Syon Park to the west and the River Brent and Grand Union Canal to the east.

Built in 1978 by the Greater London Council for council tenants, 500 units were sold privately. For the time being, flats with terraces and riverside or canal views are generally available at well under pounds 100,000.

On the other end of Brentford, geographically and financially, is Regatta Point, a residential development with the looks and lush interiors of a premium Docklands dwelling. Developed by Frendcastle, Regatta Point has 58 units, including six penthouses and two mews houses. All have a balcony, terrace or patio providing river views, which also means that they are south-facing. Prices start at pounds 125,000, the large penthouses go for pounds 600,000; a half-dozen units remain, and occupancy begins in the autumn.

"We are seen as an extension of Strand on the Green," says Frendcastle's Greg Fry, referring to the popular riverside promenade on the opposite side of Kew Bridge.

"As soon as Regatta Point prices were announced 18 months ago, Brentford Dock prices shot up," says Tim Bridger, of Brentford Dock Estates Agency. And Regatta Point is just the start: "Several major projects have applied for planning permission, which has already been granted to Ferry Lane."

Ferry Lane is adjacent to Brentford Dock, bordering the River Brent and the Thames. This luxury development will have nearly 400 warehouse-style residential units and commercial properties, including a business hotel and restaurants.

A canalside British Waterways site has been approved for a mixed development of more than 100 residential units, hotels, shops and restaurants. Opposite, the redundant Grade II* St Lawrence church and Spanton Works have received planning permission for a theatre, restaurant and other community uses.

"People are moving into Brentford from Kew, Chiswick and Ealing," says Robert Pemberton, director of Winkworth, whose Putney office is handling Regatta Point. "The attraction is the river. Chiswick is cut in half by the motorway. The main part of Brentford being developed is by the river. The Butts has always been popular."

These newcomers, Mr Bridger believes, will push prices up further: "In the last 18 months, a one-bedroom flat in Brentford Dock went from pounds 65,000 to more than pounds 80,000 now. We will be competing with Chiswick in the next few years."

Mr Pemberton is also bullish: "Except for Kew Bridge Station, Brentford town suffers from poor communication, restaurants and other amenities, but plans for these are in the pipeline. I think Brentford will be virtually unrecognisable in five years." THE LOW-DOWN Brentford has parks, stately homes and good bus links to Underground stations (District or Piccadilly Line) at Gunnersbury, Boston Manor, Northfields and South Ealing; and Brentford and Kew rail stations. On the roads, there is easy access to the M4and A4 and, south of the Thames, the A316/M3. Convenient for Heathrow. HAS NO Underground, and no quiet sky. Planes land sometimes every two minutes. Most natives don't notice anymore but equally they don't welcome more landings. ISN'T BRENTFORD IN ESSEX, NOT MIDDLESEX? No, that's Brentwood. ISN'T THAT MICHELLE PFEIFFER? No, but it might be local resident Anna Ford. TOMORROW talks are under way to re-establish the ferry between Brentford and Kew Gardens. Virgin is trying out a riverbus link to and from Brentford, Westminster and Greenwich. BRAINS More than its share of museums and cultural venues, including the magical butterfly house in Syon Park, the Aquatic Experience, Kew Gardens, the Musical Museum, Kew Bridge Steam Museum, Watermans Art Centre, Boston Manor House, Gunnersbury Park Ho use and Museum, and Osterley Park House. BRAWN West London is rich in parks (Syon, Gunnersbury), greens and other venues for tennis, golf, swimming (Fountains Leisure swimming-pool has waves and flumes), bowls, fishing, jogging and bicycling. Spectators can spectate at Brentford FC. THE GOLDEN MILE Area employers include SmithKline Beecham, Virgin, Mercury, Agfa, Bull and Wang. ESTATE AGENTS Rolfe East 0181-995 2442; Winkworth 0181-788 9295; Brentford Estates 0181-400 2001. NEAREST GENERAL SHOPPING Hounslow. NEAREST CHIC SHOPPING Chiswick and Richmond. WHISTLE WETTING Riverside pubs upstream at Old Isleworth and down at Strand on the Green, and smack in the middle at Watermans Arts Centre, when it is open. The bar has a long balcony overlooking the Thames. RENT pounds 700-pounds 1,000 per month at Brentford Dock, the same or more per week at Regatta Point. ABCDEFG Join the waiting list for The Green School (girls) and Gumley House (Roman Catholic). Other primaries are St Paul's (Church of England), St John's (Roman Catholic) and Lionel Road; secondaries are Brentford School for Girls, and Isleworth and Syon for boys.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

    £18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

    Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific