Hidden agenda to WMF's Battersea intervention
Parkview International, developer of the Battersea Power Station site, is surprised to hear the World Monument Fund's (WMF) announcement that it intends to place the power station on its 100 most endangered list. A preservation programme and plans for the restoration of this landmark are already well under way.
Parkview considers that English Heritage, the government statutory organisation responsible for the care of the country's national monuments and empowered to enforce preservation, is best placed to decide which are the most endangered. English Heritage inspects the power station building every six months, and together with Parkview agrees a schedule of remedial works needed.
This summer, engineer Buro Happold was commissioned to undertake a major programme of investigative works on the building prior to finalising the restoration and rebuilding of the power station. A report will be completed and submitted to English Heritage at the end of the year. This is part of a schedule of ongoing enabling works currently taking place on the site. It is expected that enabling works will continue for the next 12 months prior to the start of construction.
It has been reported that the WMF has placed the power station on its watch list to reopen the debate about the future of the building. This would appear to be counter to the organisation's stated aims. Instead of yet more debate, efforts should be focused on encouraging the development ofthe site, which will ensure the long-term future of this London icon.
Ian Rumgay, corporate communications director, Parkview International