Rafael Viñoly’s redevelopment of Battersea Power Station has landed the crucial backing of English Heritage
The controversial £5.5 billion project to overhaul and restore Giles Gilbert Scott’s grade II* listed landmark could now be approved by local planning authorities.
The government heritage adviser said: ‘[We] welcome the plans for the re-use of the Grade II* listed Battersea Power Station and have no objections in principle to the redevelopment of the site for the uses proposed.’
Its letter however raised concern ‘that the scale and density of the proposed new development risks causing harm to the setting and views of the power station.’
However the heritage watchdog passed to the Wandsworth Borough Council responsibility for ‘balancing the level of harm against the planning considerations of the overall scheme’.
English Heritage also refused to rubber-stamp proposals to demolish a grade-II listed Victorian pumping station on the site - demanding instead the plans be submitted to scrutiny under recently launched planning guidance.
Campaigner Keith Garner of the Battersea Power Station Company felt English Heritage should oppose the demolition proposal.
He said: ‘They are washing their hands of some key issues.’
Planning guidance requires listed buildings to be offered to a charitable trust or put on the market prior to demolition. The building could be redeveloped as a Thames boat house, according to Garner.
The Victorian Society also raised objections over the proposed demolition.
Rob Tincknell, managing director of Treasury Holdings, said: ‘We now have broad support to proceed from all the key stakeholders, and there is growing appreciation that the project will now finally go ahead and the power station will be saved.’