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What's in a postcode?

Now the athletes have departed it's time to sell the real estate! First up is East Village, formerly known as the Athletes' Village. It seems the owners have asked the Centre for Economic and Business Research, which claims to provide 'leading economic forecasts and analysis', to help with offloading the stock. CEBR waxes lyrical over the advantages of the new E20 postcode in its 'unbiased and informative' presentation of the 'impressive liveability factors' it identifies.

East Village is described as 'London 's first Olympic legacy neighbourhood', which of course it isn't as it is part of the Stratford City site and is not in the Olympic Park. A small detail perhaps for high powered analysts determined to provide 'exceptional PR and media coverage'. And it is certainly true the press release of their survey has been recycled by any number of media organisations repeating the mantra that E20 is set to become one of 'London's most desirable residential neighbourhoods'.

One of the factors identified by CEBR as making E20 more desirable than the likes of Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush, but not quite as exciting as Highbury, is that it 'promises to be one of London's best-connected residential areas'. Why it should 'promise' this is unclear. Apart from Crossrail, which is the only new line under construction, Stratford or E15, the alternative designations for the area, is already served by two tube lines, mainline to the City and elsewhere, the Overground, two DLR lines and EuroStar to St Pancras, plus various coach and bus services, none of which owe anything to the Olympics.

East Village is also considered fortunate in having 'highly-rated education at the new Chobham Academy (part of the renowned Harris Federation), and the East Village Health & Wellbeing Centre'. It is always good to know an area has good schools and health facilities. However, as neither is actually in operation it is difficult to see how CEBR can know that the Academy is 'highly-rated'. No doubt this is simply an example of CEBR's exceptional forecasting abilities.

Analyst Osman Ismail describes the new E20 zone as a 'much maligned corner of East London'. Much maligned indeed by the promoters of the Olympics who had described this part of the Lea Valley as an 'urban desert', a 'scar' and an 'industrial wasteland'.

The CEBR report refers to other advantages of living in E20, such as the outdoor space, sports facilities and Westfield shopping mall, which will all help make it a success story. E20 East Village is awarded a CEBR 'fundamentals index' score of 6.92. So unlike that other neglected corner of the East End, E15 Stratford, which, despite sharing the same advantages, is only accorded a score of 4.94 by the insightful forecasters.

The only explanation for this discrepancy must be that E15 Stratford, which includes the Carpenters Road estate, scheduled for demolition to make way for a UCL campus, is on the wrong side of the railway tracks!


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