Q. I am buying in Canary Wharf but given the amount of new developments springing up everywhere I feel increasing concerned about buying something that will then have a high rise go up right in front of it restricting my view. Can you offer any advice when sourcing a property to limit my chances of this happening?
A. I hear you, and in fact this is now becoming a major concern for many buyers particularly those that are new to the area and have yet to figure out what may be in the pipeline. Its true Canary Wharf is in the process of yet another huge surge of new build. There is pretty much something new, either in planning or in the process of being built on every square foot of land available. Firstly, you need to keep in mind that you are in London, and London is by default heavily built up, so if you are choosing to live so central it will of course have its drawer backs such as this very issue that concerns you now. However there are definitely multiple developments within the area where you can confidently buy knowing your view is secured. First of all and assuming the budget allows, look for a property with a water view, whether that be river or dock. If you buy something directly on the waterfront this will be your best chance of securing your view. Secondly, try looking at the older developments, a complex that has been completed for several years where the aspect overlooks the communal area will be another guarantee. Concentrate on the conservation areas of the wharf, there are a couple of these, again building we be restricted in these designated patches. If you chose to buy new build then you need to take someone along with you that firstly is familiar with the area and secondly a property expert that can pinpoint other development or blocks on the floorplans. If you are not used to reading floor plans it is easy to miss stuff like a 50 storey tower going right up in front of your block. Once you find something you like you can also then go on to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets website and browse the planning section in your prospective postcode, this will detail all scheduled and proposed planning. Buying something already completed would be your safest option as just by visiting the apartment you will be able to check out the aspect from each room, ask yourself is there any space in front of this view that could be built upon? If the answer is yes do your homework before committing to purchase or you could live to regret your decision.