Immediately south of West Ham in the East London Borough of Newham, Plaistow is an urban residential area with historical connections to infamous highwayman Dick Turpin. One of his first crimes was to steal two oxen from his employer, Mr Giles of Plaistow, and later Turpin’s gang of smugglers operated between Plaistow and Southend.
After suffering heavy bombing damage during WWII, large housing estates were built here in the 1960s, but Plaistow has since undergone a dramatic redevelopment. The neighbourhood has enjoyed a significant influx of funding for improvements, including a £92 million regeneration programme in the 1990s dedicated to new homes and jobs, and a £54.6 million award to improve the area over ten years starting in 2000.
A steady stream of lottery funding has been a boon to places like the Memorial Community Church, which was given support to clean and restore ten memorial bells cast with the names of 150 soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the First World War.
Some of the funding was aimed at tackling social exclusion, unemployment and poor education standards. Given the strength of the Plaistow community today, it seems to have worked.
Here are just four ways Plaistow has been transformed into an East End family-friendly hotspot.
Green space and sports
Thanks in part to its proximity to West Ham football ground, Plaistow has long had an affinity with sport. The Black Lion pub in the High Street, which dates back to 1742, was reputedly frequented by Booby Moore in the 60s and 70s and is still well known as a football celebrity hangout, with many West Ham United players having been spotted there over the years.
A strong sporting influence is in evidence at both of Plaistow’s two leisure centres, Newham Leisure Centre and Balaam Street Leisure Centre. The Terence McMillan Stadium, a track and field athletics club, forms part of the Newham complex and is home to the East End Road Runners.
Plaistow enjoys an abundance of open space, and Plaistow Park has a football pitch, a multi-use games area and a paddling pool. Memorial Park has ten acres of green space and an activity centre for children on the grounds. Award-winning West Ham Park, the largest park in Newham at 77 acres, hosts an array of family-friendly activities bolstered by its cricket pitch, ornamental gardens, tennis courts and rounders pitch.
No fewer than six of Plaistow’s primary schools have received an ‘Outstanding’ rating from OFSTED, and its two senior schools, Cumberland School and Lister Community School, are both rated as ‘good’.
Slice of the good life
All the regeneration funding has brought attractive and affordable new private homes.
A great example of this is the conversion of the old Plaistow Hospital on Samson Street by housing association Peabody. Now known as Upton Village, the refurbishment transformed five Victorian hospital buildings into a family-friendly development with allotments for its owners, private gardens, leafy public open space and a shared-ownership scheme that makes this one of the most affordable areas in the East End.
According to Zoopla, the average house price in Plaistow is £290,612 (up over 5 per cent in the past year), and a two-bedroom flat costs an average of £1,291 a month to rent, which is why the area is attracting families, young couples and first-time buyers priced out of nearby Stratford and Bow.
If you’re searching for or selling property in Plaistow, get in touch with our office for more information on this district and its growing popularity.