Chelsea’s bid for Battersea ‘still on’
Plans to build a new home for Chelsea Football Club at Battersea Power Station remain on the cards, despite reports that a rival bidder is close to striking a deal for the site
Mike Hussey, of developer Almacantar, who is working on behalf of the west London club, affirmed that its proposals for a 60,000-seat stadium adjoining the Grade II*-listed landmark had not yet been killed off. He said: ‘We are still in the running [and] await communication from the administrators.’
The stadium-led scheme, designed by KPF and Rafael Viñoly, is up against Malaysian developer SP Setia, which emerged as preferred bidder for the high-profile riverside site last week. It is understood the Malaysian company has tabled a £375 million offer for the land and could work within the site’s existing planning consent, which was also masterplanned by Viñoly. A bid from developer Godfrey Bradman crumbled last month.
At the time of going to press, negotiations between administrator Ernst and Young, which is handling the sale, and SP Setia were yet to finalise – leaving the 15-hectare plot within Almacantar’s grasp.
In February this year, the Giles Gilbert Scott-designed landmark and surrounding land went on sale on the open market for the first time in its history after creditors moved to recoup £500 million of debt from site owner Battersea Power Station Shareholder Vehicle.
The move prompted fierce speculation over the future of the plot, which has lain dormant since the power station shut in 1983.
In recent months Terry Farrell and Allies and Morrison have both floated plans to save the building. Farrell’s vision would see only two walls and the famous towers retained, while Allies and Morrison advocated a ‘step by step’ approach to save the entire structure.
Responding to the news about SP Setia’s bid and its potential resurrection of Viñoly’s original masterplan, Allies and Morrison founding partner Graham Morrison said: ‘If we thought that was the best way forward, we wouldn’t have produced the alternative.’
Neil Bennett, of Terry Farrell and Partners, added: ‘We understand [SP Setia] are going to go ahead broadly with the [Viñoly] scheme but with a much less dense quantum.’