Three-bedroom homes for £230,000 go up for sale in Bow - but there is a catch

A CGI of the St Clements site, which contains grade II listed buildings and a clock tower, which wil

A CGI of the St Clements site, which contains grade II listed buildings and a clock tower, which will soon have flats up for sale. Picture: Linden Homes - Credit: Archant

Homes in an iconic clock tower in Bow are going up for sale.

The St Clements development, built on the site of the former St Clements Hospital, is part of London’s first Community Land Trust Scheme – a model of affordable housing based on average incomes in the area, rather than market rates.

Residents started moving in last summer while the site’s clock tower was still unfinished. From September, around 200 one, two and three-bed homes inside the historical tower will be up for sale.

“A lot of time and value was put into retaining the history of the site,” said Nicola de Quincey, a heritage consultant from JTP (formerly John Thompson and Partners).

“When we started it was a patchwork of buildings, extensions and listed buildings, so we had to work out what was important to keep.”

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The London Community Land Trust, who manage some of the homes, agreed.

“CLT understood how important the history was,” said Lianna Etkind, the campaigns manager from the London CLT.

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“People really engaged with the campaign because it held memories for them. People told us how they used to go to training here when it was a hospital. It seemed necessary to keep it a site which people recognised.”

There are 252 homes, 73 of which are made from old hospital buildings like the morgue and infirmary. CLT own 23, with the rest owned by Linden Homes.

“CLT has a different definition of affordability,” Lianna said.

“Instead of relating it to market rate, we say people should never spend more than a third of the average income of the area on their rent.”

A one-bed CLT home in the development costs £130,000, while a three-bed is £230,000. This makes them a third to 50 per cent cheaper than others in the area.

But it’s the first scheme of its kind in London, so competition is stiff. For every home, eight people fit into CLT’s eligibility test.

“People can get a CLT home if they fit into five categories,” Lianna said.

“They currently live in a place with mould or damp, they’re a member of the London CLT, they’re members of local groups like PTAs and churches, they’ve lived in the area for more than five years, and they’re able to get a mortgage.”

While the clock tower homes will be managed by Linden, CLT are developing further schemes in the capital.

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