Battersea Power Station redevelopment moves a step closer


The revamp includes a new six-acre public park and a housing and commercial complex which will form part of the regeneration project.


By Alex Christian

Battersea Power Station’s redevelopment moved a step closer following the masterplan’s submission to Wandsworth Council yesterday.

The revamp includes a new six-acre public park and a housing and commercial complex which will form part of the Nine Elms’ regeneration project.

An estimated 25,000 permanent jobs in London will be created from the redevelopment, plus two new Tube stops will be built as part of a Northern Line Extension.

Shops, offices, restaurants and leisure facilities will be constructed alongside a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking the area to Westminster.

Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly’s first-stage plans follow the £400million purchase of the site in July by a Malaysian consortium of S P Setia, Sime Darby and the Employees Provident Fund.

Wandsworth Council Leader and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership Ravi Govindia said: “The new owners picked up the keys just two months ago so it’s very encouraging to see the project moving ahead so quickly.

“This site is vital to the regeneration of the wider Nine Elms on the South Bank area and in particular the Northern Line Extension.”

Battersea Power Station Development Company CEO Rob Tincknell said he was pleased to announce the plans’ details so soon.

He added: “The quick turnaround emphasises the shareholders’ commitment to regenerating this remarkable building and the site surrounding it.”

Wandsworth stakeholders will now be asked for their views on the redevelopment.

One controversial topic is the power station itself, a Grade-II listed building, and the planned demolishment of its iconic chimneys in favour of replicas.

Wandsworth Council found in a 2005 report the chimneys to be corroded and in need of replacement, yet an alternative report commissioned by activists found that the chimneys’ interiors could be repaired.

There are also concerns the Nine Elms’ regeneration project will spoil the Art Deco building’s appearance and its impact across the London skyline.

Battersea Power Station Community Group member Keith Garner, 53, said: “The volume of flats will have a harmful effect on the setting of Battersea Power Station.

“It’s an urban monument and famous landmark – you don’t want to cram it in so you can’t see it anymore. It will disappear from view and I think that is a tragedy.

“These things have to be weighed against the wider benefit – people come to London to see its great buildings and experience its environment.”

Battersea Power Station first generated electricity in 1933 but was decommissioned 50 years later.

Since then, numerous failed development plans varied from an indoor theme park to a 75,000 capacity stadium for Chelsea FC.

Construction on the Nine Elms £8billion project will begin in mid-2013 and is expected to be completed in ten years’ time.

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