The area of Thamesmead is one of London’s most hidden gems – teeming with stunning waterways, large green spaces and a growing number of independent retailers as well as a vibrant town centre to explore. The town is set to benefit from a £1bn regeneration project that will transform the area known for its brutalist architecture into a rejuvenated community with timeless homes fit for modern London-living. Peabody, in association with London Borough of Bexley and the Royal Borough of Greenwich, is at the helm to drive this transformation.
With residents able to take advantage of the excellent connectivity links, facilitated by the impending arrival of the Elizabeth Line, the flagship development, The Reach, in West Thamesmead, is a prime area to relocate for first-time buyers. Adding to the allure was a chance to own a home as part of the regeneration of the area that new homeowner and aspiring artist, Anna Pickles Harvey, who simply couldn’t resist.
Anna has always looked at the world through the imaginative eyes of an artist, having completed art school and pursued a creative practice alongside her full-time job. She wanted to fuel her passion into the art world whilst working as a library assistant at the College of Art and studying a Masters in Library & Information Studies at University College London. For Anna, living in London has always meant flat-sharing, and she sought to have a private, secured space to call her own where she could channel her creativity in the décor.
The draw of Thamesmead for Anna was driven by the distinctive history of the area as well as it being a staple in art culture. From Stanley Kubrick’s renowned arthouse classic “Clockwork Orange” to channel 4’s TV series “Misfits” and the brutalist architecture that was ground-breaking at the time, there is an abundance of artistic inspiration for residents and visitors alike. Anna elaborated on this when revealing further details of what increased her interest in The Reach: “As an artist, I was drawn to The Reach because of the history surrounding Thamesmead, I felt connected to the artistic element because of my own creative foundations, and I appreciate well-thought out stylistic elements. From the get-go, I could tell that The Reach is well designed, stylish and thoughtful and I could see myself living there. It’s inspiring to be living in an area undergoing so much change, and with the artistic investment, I can pursue my passions by engrossing myself in the local art hubs and studios. I’m delighted that there is an effort to maintain the art history element of Thamesmead.”
At the start of her search, Anna had realistic expectations for what she could afford. She signed up for the scheme through Homes for Londoners, part of the Mayor of London website mailing list, having heard about Shared Ownership through a colleague. She explained on her outlook prior to finding Peabody: “If I’m honest, when I started my search, I didn’t have a positive outlook on Shared Ownership. I was misinformed by a lack of research and created obstacles in my own mind. I’d been renting and living in flat-shares for the last thirteen years, so more than anything I wanted a one-bedroom flat rather than a studio, and ideally a place with outdoor space – but I knew that might be a stretch with my low budget. I didn’t think it could be possible to have both – but I was proven wrong when I found The Reach!”
Anna initially found out about The Reach because she had seen previous properties advertised through the housing association. She knew she could trust Peabody because of their commitment to making London a city of opportunity for all, by ploughing profits generated from the sales of their unique new homes back into affordable housing. The process was entirely painless for her from start to finish, and she commented: “I felt really supported by the sales negotiator and the Peabody purchasing process was well organised for first-time buyers. The apartment is finished to a much higher specification than I ever honestly expected to afford. Other developers I had looked at could not match the level of quality of this apartment. I feel like I can trust Peabody because they really listened to what I wanted, and as a result I’ve been able to purchase a home with a large, South-facing balcony.”
As an artist, Anna enjoys spending time outdoors to fuel her creativity, which is why the addition of the balcony in her apartment aided in her desire to live at The Reach. Furthermore, Thamesmead has a significant amount of greenery for residents to explore, known for its collection of nature reserves, with Abbey Wood Park and Hawksmoor Park in close proximity. Anna highlighted the importance of living near nature and outfitting her flat with greenery: “For me, the best part about the area is the greenery, with The Reach being close to the river and having parks to explore in Woolwich and Greenwich. My partner and I are really looking forward to walking through the park and grabbing coffee from a local café. I can’t wait to take advantage of exploring the area and I’ve already started planned my running routes. I’m also going to incorporate greenery elements into the space of my new home, with a growing list of plants that I’m going to purchase for the balcony.”
In Anna’s case, she found her dream home in a thriving new area of London when she least expected it. She’s looking forward to making the place her own as well as becoming further acquainted with where she lives and taking in the history of the architecture. She commented: “I can’t wait to explore where I live, I’m looking forward to going to Woolwich Arsenal and seeing more of the building architecture in the surrounding area. Finding this home has encouraged me to recommend Peabody to my friends over other developers because they are super reliable. I feel like I could trust Peabody because they have been around for a while and have always focused on creating affordable housing, and on making homes for people to the highest standards. It’s lovely to live in a place that truly appeals to my artistic side.”
Anna purchased the one-bedroom apartment at The Reach through Shared Ownership for £68,750, at a 25% share of £275,000. There are currently 19 apartments available with prices starting at £69,375 for a 25% share of £277,500, and incentives available. For further information on The Reach, please visit the site here: PeabodySales.co.uk/The-Reach
To discover more homes through Shared Ownership and private sale across London including London Help to Buy, please visit peabodysales.co.uk or contact 020 7021 4842.