Everyone visiting Harrods Village, the Berkeley Homes development in Barnes, south-west London, asks the same question. Will Hammersmith Bridge reopen to all? Since the through traffic has disappeared Barnes has rediscovered its village roots and the benefits of public and two- wheeled transport. Residents' alarm at being denied the most direct route by car over the river has turned into greater alarm at the thought of their new-found peace being destroyed. Those on the main route to the bridge claim it has added value to their houses. On the site of the Harrods Depository - the familiar Thames landmark - half of the first phase of the newly built homes have been sold. English Heritage is working with Berkeley Homes on the refurbishment of the main depository building with its brick and terracotta salvaged in the 19th century from the Piccadilly tube station and two factories alongside. In total there will be 125 new homes and the same number of converted properties on a secure development with a leisure club, conference facilities, swimming, gymnasium and riverside gardens. Better than any garden, perhaps, are the adjoining acres of lake and reed beds, a sanctuary for wildfowl. Prices in the current phase range from pounds 190,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to pounds 495,000 for a three-bedroom town house, while top prices in the refurbished buildings are expected to be in the region of pounds 2m and will exceed the nearby Barnes Waterside, where owners have already seen values rise. Sales office: 0181 741 7401.

In rural Cheshire, an estate of parkland and gardens is about to see a 17th century timber-framed house arrive in its midst. PJ Livesey Rural Heritage, the developers of Bostock Hall near the village of Davenham, is rescuing the historic Platt Hall from its entirely unsuitable site in the grounds of a Northwich chemical factory. Border Oak, designers and builders of oak-framed houses, will dismantle the building and rebuild it in the grounds of the Bostock Hall development. The structure will be photographed, catalogued and drawn joint by joint and every carpenter's mark recorded. The disassembled frame will then be analysed for clues to its history before being restored and placed on its new foundations. Platt Hall will then be sold as a private house for a price in the region of pounds 350,000.

Comments