Council-built new flats in Maida Vale: handsome apartments in stone-façade block with a Parisian neighbourhood vibe

Maida Vale and its Little Venice enclave is a place where Parisians would feel at home.

Central, spacious, leafy and elegant, it is a wholly residential district, with wide boulevards, flats in well-kept mansion blocks and cream-coloured terraces, and villagey corners with florists, bakers, butchers et al.

The neighbourhood’s character was shaped by the long-time ownership of the Church Commissioners, who planned, built, maintained and laid down the rules.

Until the Eighties, this resulted in relatively little buying and selling — nearly all the homes were rented.

However, the steady progress of leasehold reform has encouraged more owner-occupation and has helped the area’s status.

Developers are hungry for opportunities, and the latest batch of private homes comes from a surprising source: Westminster City Council.

A former pupil referral unit in the Shirland Road conservation area has made way for The Masefield, a scheme of 31 apartments in a handsome stone-façade block with inset balconies.

The development includes an 84-bed care home for the elderly. But, controversially, there is no affordable housing for rent or shared ownership.

Prices start at £625,000 for a one-bedroom flat. Call JLL (020 7087 5111).

From £625,000: apartments at The Masefield in Maida Vale

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