Buyers can get on the ladder at London Fire Brigade’s original 19th-century HQ, which has been rescued from dereliction with a community-minded redevelopment that brings 199 homes, a new secondary school, a sports centre and green space.

Brigade Court is in a surprisingly quiet pocket of the SE1 postcode, less than half a mile from Borough Market and Tate Modern.

Homes range from sleek new-build flats overlooking a central courtyard to smaller homes and loft-style flats in the distinctive red-brick Victorian buildings.

Interior designer 1.61 London opted for monochrome finishes in matt white and grey, with black chevron tiling.

The fire station theme continues into the new build. The Social is a chill-out lounge; the Watch Room has a cinema screen; the Mess Room is a private dining space; the Training Yard is a gym and the Look Outs are roof gardens.

The fire station was built in 1878 in response to a huge conflagration at a nearby riverside wharf that took two weeks to put out.

Prior to this, London’s firefighters were not public servants and an Act of Parliament had to be passed to create the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

This part of Southwark, the triangle formed by Waterloo, Borough and Elephant & Castle is a place to watch.

For years it was judged the wrong side of the tracks, too close to grubby railway viaducts.

But this area is now interesting and ready for a new look with its unpretentious mix of charitable and church housing, well-cared for council estates and niche private developments.

Prices at Brigade Court start at £585,000.

For more information on the project click here.

To see the article by David Spittles click here.