The mega London developments offering buyers more — from workspaces and rooftop gardens to concierges and gyms

Goodluck Hope, on the Leamouth Peninsula, has 841 homes built on just under seven acres (Handout)
Goodluck Hope, on the Leamouth Peninsula, has 841 homes built on just under seven acres (Handout)

A sense of community, beautifully designed open space, and amenities within walking distance all shot up house buyers’ wish lists during the Covid pandemic.

And agents say that these factors are still driving interest in the capital’s major developments, where buyers can enjoy extras beyond their own walls.

Londoners rediscovered their connection to the natural world during the pandemic.

John East, head of new homes at John D Wood & Co., said that even high-density urban developments can deliver when it comes to the great outdoors. “One of the key attractions of larger developments is the availability of abundant landscaped communal spaces,” he said.

“These green areas provide a sense of openness and tranquillity, allowing residents to enjoy outdoor activities, social gatherings or simply a breath of fresh air.

“The larger scale of these developments often allows for expansive gardens, walking paths and recreational areas that create a vibrant and welcoming community atmosphere.”

This month, the Evening Standard’s New Homes Awards will recognise the best large developments that prove you really can have it all…

Sky-high facilities

Battersea Power Station has become a benchmark of how big brownfield regeneration projects should be handled.

This £9bn development has created a destination neighbourhood across 42 acres, with shops, cafés, restaurants, cinemas, a dedicated Tube station, parks, and well over 4,000 homes.

The current phase of the development is Battersea Roof Gardens, designed by Foster + Partners. Its crowning glory is a 29,000 sq ft rooftop garden, one of the largest residential rooftop gardens in London. This was crafted by James Corner of Field Operations, who created the New York High Line.

Prices start from £795,000 for a one-bedroom flat (

Battersea Roof Gardens has one of London’s largest residential rooftop gardens (Taran Wilkhu)
Battersea Roof Gardens has one of London’s largest residential rooftop gardens (Taran Wilkhu)

Awe-inspiring views

Battersea’s planners had the advantage of scale. But with limited space in central London, the solution for some major projects has been found by looking to the skies. At 239m tall, Landmark Pinnacle in Canary Wharf — designed by the award-winning Squire & Partners — is Britain’s tallest residential tower, with awe-inspiring views.

With a building this tall, records will inevitably be broken. Catering to buyers’ desire for outside space is the UK’s highest tropical garden in a residential settingon the 27th floor. It was inspired by Kew Gardens and is crammed with more than 3,500 plants, while offering stunning views of Canary Wharf.

The building also includes the UK’s highest gym and highest private roof terrace.

Even though the entire site measures less than an acre, it still has room for 752 flats (more than 95 per cent of which have been sold) and 162 serviced apartments.

Prices for a studio start at £559,000, while two bedroom flats cost from £986,750 (

Landmark Pinnacle in Canary Wharf is Britain’s tallest residential tower (Handout)
Landmark Pinnacle in Canary Wharf is Britain’s tallest residential tower (Handout)

Home-working space

Beyond outside space, agents agree that the other amenity buyers really, really want is workspace.

“People now increasingly appreciate home-working space — business centres or sky lounges with Wi-Fi, printers, scanners, meeting rooms,” said Joseph Bate, senior sales manager at JOHNS&CO estate agents. “It’s a slightly more boring amenity compared with cinemas and swimming pools, but it’s nonetheless important to many buyers.”

Raul Cimesa, partner and head of London new homes at Knight Frank, agrees that workspace is a vital element of a successful development — and not just for the obvious reason of giving home workers a reason to get dressed in the morning.

They also allow residents to get to know each other. “They build a community feel, merging the lines between work and home,” he said.“We all like to feel part of something, and a development of this scale should become an established future neighbourhood that is safe and well-managed.”

Waterside appeal

Goodluck Hope is about as close as you can get to island life in London — the site is on the Leamouth Peninsula, just south of Canning Town’s regeneration zone, and surrounded by water on three sides.

It is also one of London’s more high-density developments, with 841 homes built on a site of just under seven acres.

But it does offer buyers lots of communal spaces, notably a 29th-storey sky lounge for working and entertaining. It also ticks the on-the-doorstep amenities box thanks to its sports club, coffee shops, bars, wellness studio and paved piazza.

Prices start at £430,000 for a studio, £550,000 for a one-bedroom flat, and £699,000 for a two-bedroom apartment (

Outstanding location

Housebuilders aren’t the only ones building new homes. Councils own huge swathes of public land, and some are making efforts to reverse the great sell-off of council housing started by Margaret Thatcher by building new homes.

The great thing about these council-owned sites is that they are often in outstanding locations. On Fisherton Street in Marylebone, Westminster City council has just finished work on 171 houses and flats on a 1.85-acre site previously occupied by a couple of dozen affordable homes, storage sheds, car parking spaces and community buildings.

The homes are a mixture of private sale, affordable sale and social rent, and the project was completed last year.

This is already a lively community, with the brilliant Church Street market around the corner, and the shops and restaurants of Edgware Road and Marylebone within a few minutes’ walk. What the development adds to the area is a new sports hall, and the first section of a linear pedestrian and cycle route through Church Street.

Better still, income from the project, which includes modern new apartments at Carrick Yard, will be funnelled into building new homes in the area over the next two decades.

Prices start from £720,000 for a one-bedroom flat and £1.075m for a two-bedroom apartment (

Carrick Yard is a block of modern apartments with prices from £720,000 in north-west London (Edward Hill)
Carrick Yard is a block of modern apartments with prices from £720,000 in north-west London (Edward Hill)

Community vibe

For buyers hoping for a lively community, the 7.25-acre former Hammersmith Distillery site beside the River Thames in west London could be the answer. By 2026 Fulham Reach will have 744 flats.

Although there are on-site shops and restaurants, plus a landscaped walkway linked to Frank Banfield Park, what really makes this development sing is its proximity to Hammersmith’s own shops, restaurants, bars and Tube stations. If you don’t want to take a half-mile walk, there is also an on-site leisure club with a pool and a spa, a cinema room, a snooker room, a golf simulator and a wine cellar with dining facilities.

Prices start at £999,000 for a 663 sq ft two-bedroom flat (

Fulham Reach is on the site of the former Hammersmith Distillery and will have 744 flats by 2026 (
Fulham Reach is on the site of the former Hammersmith Distillery and will have 744 flats by 2026 (

Incentives to buy

On a practical note, Peter Gibney, a director of JLL, said plenty of his buyers are particularly keen to enjoy the benefits of a concierge service, which tends to only be available at larger developments (or very expensive small ones). “It is viewed as almost vital for many young professionals,” he said.

The other benefit of buying a property that’s part of a big scheme is the potential for freebies.

“Larger developers can afford to offer incentives such as help with stamp duty,” said Nick Whales, head of new homes at Jeremy Leaf & Co estate agents.

Even if incentives aren’t advertised, it is always worth discussing what perks might be available with sales teams. Some offer furniture packages, while others will pay legal bills or simply cut the price — and if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

The plot thickens: how to pick a property off-plan

If you do plan to buy a property on a large development the likelihood is that you will be buying off-plan and basing your decision on models, renderings and brochures.

When you have lots of units to choose from, selecting the perfect flat is an art, said Liam Monaghan, managing director of buying agency London Central Portfolio.

“Plot selection ultimately comes down to personal choice,” he said. “Your preference for morning or evening sun will influence what side of the building you want to be on. Higher floors are a must for some people as they might offer better views or less traffic noise.

“In multi-block developments some people want to be as close to the concierge and best facilities as possible and will therefore choose an apartment accordingly.”

Matthew Saville, head of new home sales at JLL, recommends studying building layouts carefully. Smart buyers look for flats which are not too close to lift shafts and entrances, to avoid noise, for example.

Interior designer Omar Bhatti bought a loft-style apartment at Goodluck Hope in east London (Chris Snook)
Interior designer Omar Bhatti bought a loft-style apartment at Goodluck Hope in east London (Chris Snook)

Blank canvas: design gem fit for busy bees

For Omar Bhatti, a contemporary loft-style apartment at Goodluck Hope was the perfect empty shell for him to put his own stamp on, without having to do any of the dull, time-consuming and expensive structural work that a period home would have required.

And living in a well-located development with great transport links and plenty of amenities also suits his busy lifestyle.

Back in 2020, 31-year-old Omar was renting an apartment at the London City Island development, which gave him a front-row seat to see work starting at the neighbouring Goodluck Hope site in east London. He was paying £1,900pcm for his two-bedroom rental and realised that it would cost him barely any more to buy a flat instead.

He paid £699,000 for the property, and his monthly costs now include mortgage payments of £1,200pcm and a service charge of around £5,500 per year.

Omar is an interior designer and the founder and creative director of Space Shack ( and he spent several months upgrading and furnishing the apartment. He refitted a bathroom, added storage, changed out the kitchen island and redecorated with a palette of calm neutrals.

He agrees the service charge is a major cost, but does enjoy having access to two gyms, which he uses a couple of times a week, as well as the indoor and outdoor pool. “The development is a great place for entertaining family and friends,” he said.

He also appreciates having a concierge service to take in parcels. “I am busy and travel around London a lot, so it is great to be somewhere that’s within easy reach of everywhere, which is really convenient, and which has things to do,” he said. “At my stage in life it suits me perfectly.”