Development of former stadium site will include several reminders of the Irons’ history
Alan Sealey – that’s a name that conjures up happy memories for West Ham United fans of a certain age.
Sealey was the player who bagged the goals in the Irons’ 2-0 European Cup Winners’ Cup* win against TSV 1860 Munich at Wembley in 1965. It is the biggest trophy in the club’s cabinet, sitting alongside their three FA Cup triumphs.
So, it seems appropriate that Sealey’s name will be honoured within Upton Gardens the housing development which is being built on the site of West Ham’s former Boleyn Ground. One of the buildings in the project will be called Sealey Tower.
The name was decided after the developers, Barratt London, had undertaken a block-naming contest in conjunction with the football club. A shortlist of five options was put to West Ham fans and more than 1,000 responded. Alan Sealey received 58% of the vote, ahead of the club’s legendary chief scout Wally St Pier, who took 18%. In honour of Wally, another block on the Upton Gardens development will be named St Pier Court.
These namings form part of a series of measures to ensure the site’s football heritage will not be forgotten. The project will also include a Legacy Route. This will mark the kick-off spot of the football ground with a circular garden feature and Barratt is also working on proposals for a public artwork that will reference the site’s rich history.
In addition, at the entrance to the Legacy Route on Priory Road, sections of the East Stand colonnade have also been retained as a feature within the landscaping. Nice touches for any fan of football, but especially for those who, when cut, bleed claret and sky blue.
But, you don’t have to be a West Ham supporter to want to live at Upton Gardens. The project has much more going for it. For starters, it is just a short walk from Upton Park Underground station, making it ultra-convenient for those commuting to other parts of the capital.
I can endorse the ‘short walk’ claim because I visited the site a few weeks back just before heading to watch West Ham take on Everton, a game which Irons’ fans would probably prefer to forget.
Upton Gardens is in the heart of the London Borough of Newham – an area that gained a massive lift when the main stadium for 2012 London Olympics was built in Stratford. West Ham moved to the Olympic Stadium two years ago, leaving the Boleyn site available for redevelopment.
The scheme comprises 842 units from studios right up to four-bedroom homes – and it’s in travel Zone 3. It will provide much needed new homes for the area.
Upton Gardens will be formed of 18 buildings of varying height, arranged around three large gated communal gardens and several new tree-lined streets. It will also include a London Borough of Newham-run community space, play areas, several communal roof terraces and a number of commercial units.
On-site amenities will also include gym, concierge service, a car club and a proposed café.
A spokesperson for Barratts told London Inspire: “Approximately five of the blocks have completed and we have had people move in (including Lyall House on Priory Road, and Paynter House which is the LB of Newham’s affordable housing block – both named after former Irons’ managers). We’re currently selling Chamberlain Court, which is the next collection to complete. However, there are a number of new blocks yet to be released for sale which will be completing over the next few years.”
Upton Gardens is expected to complete in 2022. Prices start from £338,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. Help with the finances is available to eligible applicants under the Government-backed Help To Buy Scheme. Under the scheme, buyers can look to get on the housing ladder after paying just a 5% deposit (that’s just less than £17,000 in the case of Upton Gardens).
For more information on Upton Gardens, you can ring the sales team on 033 3355 8496 and/or visit the website.
*The Cup Winners’ Cup is no longer contested. It was absorbed into the Uefa Cup after the 1998-9 season. Sadly, Alan Sealey died of a heart attack in 1996 when aged 53. His FA Cup-winning goalkeeper nephew, Les, another former Irons player, also died after a heart attack five years later at the age of 43.