The following article was published by on 16th November 2011.

Two big buying opportunities will open up for Londoners following a decision by Royal Mail to sell 25 acres of its central London landbank for 3,000 new homes, writes Ruth Bloomfield

Twelve acres will become available with the sale of the huge Mount Pleasant sorting office in Clerkenwell, with a further 13 acres being released at Nine Elms, the new home of the American Embassy.

Clerkenwell sits on the boundary of Camden and Islington, and the two councils have just jointly published their proposals for 1,000 homes with shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and offices with landscaped piazzas and garden squares.

Islington regeneration chief Paul Convery wants to see least 50 per cent being affordable homes. Valerie Antoine, from the Royal Mail, said that leading architect Terry Farrell had been chosen to help develop the planning application.

An outline application has already been made to redevelop the Royal Mail site at Nine Elms. Wandsworth Council is considering proposals for up to 1,870 homes and a new primary school, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities on the 13 acre site close to where the new American Embassy is being built.

Royal Mail has just sold its Rathbone Place delivery centre and offices, just off Oxford Street, to Great Portland Estates, for a cool £120 million.

The 2.3 acre site is one of the biggest development sites in the West end. An initial plan for the redevelopment of the site, drawn up by the Royal Mail, included 90 homes. However fresh plans are being submitted, which will be unveiled next year.

Toby Courtauld, GPE Chief Executive said the development would help regenerate the eastern tip of Oxford Street, currently overrun with cheap clothes and shoe shops.

Home searchers would be wise to keep their eyes open for the first chance to buy off plan. A recent study by CB Richard Ellis, the property consultants, says homes within ten minutes’ walk of a regeneration zone can lift in value five per cent annually.