Wednesday, September 26The Voice of London

Horses, Planes And A Mini Waitrose: Hatton Cross vs Hyde Park Corner

As London rent prices reach stratospheric heights, we visit the cheapest and most expensive parts of London to live. Words: Matt Hooper, Corey Armishaw, Natasha Bandlish

Photo: Corey Armishaw
Photo: Corey Armishaw

The town of Bedfont sits next to Hatton Cross tube station, which is the cheapest area in London to live. Located in South West London (well, it’s pretty much inside Heathrow Airport), the average monthly rent price is £324 a month. We popped along to get a feel for the location and to see why it’s such a bargain.

We stepped out of Hatton Cross tube station and were greeted by:

After asking where the nearest residential area was (we got lost; we initially went through the front door, but it turned out the back door had more going for it), we set off down Hatton Road.

There weren’t many people around, which wasn’t a promising start. However, there is a Zumba class in Bedfont, so there’s that. In fact, a Zumba lesson in Bedfont will set you back £5, compared to £3 in the most expensive part of London: Hyde Park Corner.

Here’s a house:

The thing about Bedfont is that there are approximately 25 horses to each human. Look, here are some:

Here are some more:

Located next to the footy club sits the local hangout spot, The Duke Of Wellington, an independently run pub.

We took a look inside, and found a lively, welcoming atmosphere.

The other thing about Bedfont is that the area is directly in the flight path.

Which means that

There are planes every few minutes

Hatton is not merely on the flight path, it is the flight path. Sitting at the end of the runway, Hatton welcomes a plane overhead on average of every 90 seconds, 24/7.

As you can imagine, this severely affects the house prices of the area. Campaign group HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Airport Noise) estimate a third runway would effectively take away £1 million from house prices.

Not only is the noise a nuisance but research shows it can damage residents health. Disturbed sleep, prolonged exposure to noise and engine fumes all add to increasing risk of heart disease and increasing blood pressure.

Check out these angry residents complaints on this forum.

Heathrow will help pay for residents to install noise isolation in their homes, but residents still cannot leave windows open without being deafened by planes.

But why do people choose to live here? We spoke to Graham Roberts-Hunt of Roberts Hunt & Co Estate Agents, who told us that people like living there because of the “proximity to the airport and because it’s on the Piccadilly line.”

We then got back on the Piccadilly line, and went to the most expensive part of London. Hyde Park Corner boasts an average monthly rent price of £2920 a month, which is almost 10x as much as Hatton Cross.

We got out of the station, and were greeted by a familiar face: a horse (well, two).

Even more coincidentally, we found ourselves passing the old house of the actual Duke of Wellington (as noted by the blue circular plaque)

Despite the high rent price, according to How Polluted Is My Road, there is greater road pollution here in Hyde Park Corner than next to Heathrow Airport.

Local attraction include a chocolate shop, a Louboutin boutique and this mini Waitrose.

Look some houses

We spoke to an estate agent (who wishes to remain anonymous), who said that people move to the area because of the “villagey feel”, as well as the proximity to the park, Paddington and Oxford Street.

But what about the crime rates? According to the Met Police, crime rates are higher in Hyde Park Corner, with 165 reported crimes in August 2015 (compared to 101 in Bedfont).

After checking both locations out, it’s pretty evident why there is such a price difference between the two. Although the road pollution levels in Hyde Park are higher than Hatton Cross, in terms of location it is in the heart of London and has a lot more to offer. Hyde Park Corner boasts posh neighbours, less planes and a Little Waitrose. Hatton Cross is right by the airport and has a certain suburban charm.

It all depends on what you’re after really – and even better, there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of horses or Dukes of Wellington in either. The good news is that if it ever came down to choosing between Hatton Cross and Hyde Park Corner, we’d be falling asleep to the sweet sounds of plane engines overhead, because £2,920 per month is quite frankly a tad too much.