Exclusive apartments, stunning townhouses, prestigious developments and sought-after locations are common aspirational statements made by property companies and estate agents.
The latter are particularly renowned for their generous use of adjectives to make a pig’s ear sound like a silk purse. That ‘delightful Victorian terrace with original features’ is, in realtor-speak, a dilapidated house needing a major upgrade. A description of this sort is often accompanied with words such as ‘great opportunity….’
Like most new developments, Chiswick Gate in West London is laurel-wreathed in superlatives. It comprises ‘stunning townhouses and apartments’ in a ‘tranquil green space difficult to find so close to the capital’.
Indeed, it is difficult to argue about the look of the properties which, from the outside, seem extremely attractive. So, perhaps stunning is apt here. But tranquil? I question this because of the location – right bang on top of the Hogarth roundabout (the large road sign next to the development leaves you in no doubt). This is on the A4, one of the busiest – and noisiest – routes in and out of London. At most times of the day it is congested with traffic, bringing with it the associated noise and fumes.
Close by is Hogarth’s House and, in the days when the painter lived there, it probably was very tranquil. But visit the house today and it’s impossible to ignore the steady rumble of traffic.
It’s possible that the Chiswick Gate properties have some kind of sound-proofing but the outside areas don’t. I don’t know whose idea it was to describe the location as tranquil but it was definitely the wrong adjective to use in this instance.