Until I bought a house in Crewe, I had always lived in Straford (east London, not upon-Avon) in fact, I still live there most of the time as I kept my job in London, so am there Monday through to Friday staying with my parents.
I have to admit, it has never been the most charming place to live. I can't really say there are any pretty places in Straford. There has always been a multicultural mish mash of people, which I liked. BUT then came the Olympics.
I came home from work last night via a different route and I couldn't believe the building work that is going on. It seems that every spare mini car park is being turned into 'luxury apartments'. Some are even selling on the basis of them being 'affordable housing'
One of these developments is being called the 'Stratford eye' It is being built slap bang along side the railway line, which must have 200+ trains thundering past per day along with the nuclear waste train pottering along at the dead of night when it is less like to kill people should an accident occur. As far as I can tell the only people who might buy a place there will be train spotters!! The view on the other side isn't much better, the Stratford one way system, 1000+ cars thundering along, so for god sake don't hang your washing out !!! It will probably get renamed the 'Stratford eyesore' by the locals. You can see this monstrosity and all the developers gush for yourself, ignore the computer generated surrounds, the area doesn't look like that at all as it is being build beside a busy road bridge.
The last lot of 'affordable housing' that was build was selling for £100,000 for a 2 bed apartment for a 1/2 share, and was snapped up by landlords before they were even built! The place is now full of people who are speaking any language but English and are probably getting ripped off by their landlords, because lets face it, someone has to pay the mortgage don't they? And the locals are not silly enough to pay that kind of rent! That too has a glorious view of the railway line and Leytonstone high road.
The sad thing about all this 'development' is that every little back street pub I used to go to has gone! I can think of 5 straight away. One is a shop, one has been turned into 'luxury apartments' (Also overlooking the afore mentioned railway line) one is a community centre (useful at least) and the other 2 demolished. When will it all end?
The property market and prices have gone crazy in Stratford. And all because of the Olympics! What I want to know is this. In 6 years from now, after the Olympics have been and gone, will the property prices crash? Once the landlords can no longer rent their properties for £2000 a week due to it's proximity to the Olympic stadium, will they sell in droves? Will the developers finally stop building on postage stamp size plots? What will become of these 'luxury apartments' because believe me, Stratford will never be mistaken for Chelsea. There will always be muggings down Forest Lane and prostitutes plying their trade on the local council estate and Newham council will never have 'luxury' properties.
I don't want you to think that since I moved away I consider myself better, I am PROUD that I come from Stratford, in fact when I go to Crewe my cockney accent comes out more and I am only too glad to tell people where I come from. I suppose I am sad to see the place that I have known all my life disappear. Still we all have to move with the times, I just really hope they turn out to be great times for Stratford and it's residents.
Oh and Newham council please note. On the Carpenters road estate, next to James Riley point, there is a building going up which I can only assume will be housing that is going to be sold at over inflated prices due to is 'view' of the stinking Bow back river. It makes that tower block look a real eyesore. Do the residents proud and either paint or knock it down!! And just one other thing, please make the developers incorporate car parking, the residents are fed up with paying parking charges then not being able to find somewhere to park.