New direction hoped for in Battersea Power Station meeting


The meeting aims to focus attention on new opportunities that may arise as a result of the station recently coming back onto the market.


By Tom Sweetman

Fresh ideas and a new direction on the plight of Battersea Power Station are hoped to emerge from a conference on the building taking place tomorrow.

Twentieth Century Society have called the meeting to focus attention on new opportunities that may arise as a result of the station recently coming back onto the market.

The society, who aim to safeguard the heritage of post-1914 British architecture and design, will also stress the need for the retention of the Grade II* listed building.

The meeting will feature guest speakers on topics such as planning and transport issues and the station’s history before culminating in a panel discussion, headed by chairman of the Heritage Alliance, Lloyd Grossman.

Architect Keith Garner, a member of long-standing campaigners Battersea Power Station Community Group (BPSCG) and guest speaker on the day, is desperate for a new approach.

He feels bringing it back to public ownership is the best option, while also being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, similarly to “stellar success” the Tate Modern.

He states that if £100m was used to repair the building then investors would no longer be frightened by its reputation and be encouraged to invest.

“If you create a public interest you get public money,” said Mr Garner.

“It being left entirely to the private sector is a disaster – it’s Einstein’s definition of insanity.

“Two failed occasions later and it’s still the same.”

The station has had a dogged past since closing in 1983, including numerous failed development plans.

The most recent owners, Real Estate Opportunities, were granted permission to refurbish the station for public use by Wandsworth Council in November 2010.

However their plans collapsed after they went into administration in December 2011.

This followed on from Parkview International’s failure to make much progress despite owning the site for 13 years.

The station’s deadline for the first round of bids is in May with no concrete offers having been made yet.

Joe Baker, Nine Elms Regeneration Co-ordination Assistant, said: “The station has gone up for sale so we’ll see what happens and take it from there.”

Twentieth Century Society chairman Alan Powers said: “Everyone would be very sorry if it were to go and we need to remind people you shouldn’t let it go.

“We want people to remember what it could contribute towards – its potential hasn’t even begun yet.”

The chairman has high hopes for the conference and hopes people’s eyes are opened to the situation.

“We want everyone to affirm their commitment to keeping the building,” added Mr Powers.

The conference takes place at the Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London, WC1E 7BT. Tickets can be purchased at

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