Why move to... Amersham

PUBLISHED: 14:21 12 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:53 20 February 2013

Why move to... Amersham

Why move to... Amersham

Despite uncertainty surrounding the route of the High Speed 2 rail link from London to Birmingham, buyers still find Amersham an attractive option.

Its known as the Gateway to the Chilterns and its Old Town, packed full of beautiful 17th and 18th century buildings, standing alongside its newer other half with many amenities, has always been a popular place to live. For the last few months, however, Amersham has been in the news for other reasons.

In early 2010 the government unveiled plans for HS2 a high speed rail link, from London to Birmingham. There was uproar when Chiltern residents saw the route would cut across beautiful countryside and near several homes and businesses.

The line would run from London to the M25 and on to Amersham in a new 9.6 km tunnel. The route would emerge just a few hundred yards from Old Amersham High Street above School Lane. The line would then run parallel to the A413 road and carry on towards Aylesbury. The government was due to announce a decision in December, but this is now on hold until mid January, with the possibility of a 1.5-mile tunnel under the Chilterns, west of Amersham, to stop the line scarring the landscape.

Nick Pounce, Head of Savills Amersham, says uncertainty as to whether HS2 will go ahead has had an impact on the saleability of property in this area but not, as yet, on a value. He goes on: "This can only be determined as and when HS2 has been definitively announced."

Ian Telford of John Nash & Co cites their experiences in School Lane, one of the areas most likely to be affected. "We have just sold a three-bedroom semi here for close to the asking price of 300,000." However, he does concede that the market is still very fluid. "Everyones in limbo," he says, but adds: "People are having to take a view on it, but properties are still selling."

There is concern, too, among pressure groups that older properties of the High Street may be affected by trains in a subterranean tunnel. Many do not have deep foundations and there are fears that vibrations may damage them.

Ian Telford fears that not all estate agents are making potential buyers aware of the proposal. He says: "Im still amazed that some house hunters havent been informed about it. People come out from London looking to buy in the area and have not been told about the situation."


Ups: All the charm of the Old Town and its period properties and shops, coupled with all modern amenities and a close proximity to London.

Downs: Uncertainty over the planned HS2 rail link.

Transport: Amersham on the Hill station connects with the Metropolitan/Chiltern line station for the London commuter, as well as Marylebone. There are excellent road links with the M25 (Jctn 18) and links to the M1, M40 and M4, as well as Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Schools: There are several nursery and primary schools. The main secondary school is Amersham School, while Dr. Challoners Grammar School for boys and Dr Challoners High School for girls, in nearby Little Chalfont, are both highly sought after.

Amenities: All those youd expect in a town of this size, including a library, a museum in the Old Town, doctors surgeries, a hospital and railway and underground stations.

Shops: Amersham has many popular chains including M&S, Boots and Waitrose, while Old Amersham High Street and Broadway is full of boutiques and individual antique, gift and speciality shops.

Pubs & restaurants: There are several tea rooms and pubs along the High Street in the Old Town. There are several chains such as ASK and Prezzo. For top quality cuisine try Artichoke, Gilbeys Bar & Restaurant or The Crown, a delightful coaching inn.

What to do at the weekend: Plenty of walks in the beautiful surrounding countryside; go off-road riding at The Equestrian Centre, Shardeloes Farm or visit the Old Towns museum.

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