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Decommissioning reignites MAKE gasholders scheme

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MAKE’s project to redevelop a gasholders site in Battersea, south London has been boosted by an announcement the structures will be decommissioned

Last month site owner National Grid announced it would decommission the ‘strategically located’ facility on Prince of Wales Drive in Battersea and actively pursue the comprehensive residentially-led mixed use redevelopment of the 2 hectare site.

Located just yards away from Rafael Vinoly’s £5.5 billion masterplan to redevelop Battersea Power Station, the scheme features four buildings arranged around a public square.

MAKE’s design featured 800 new homes, ground floor retail, leisure and commercial uses.

The scheme is one of the latest proposals to come forward in the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea opportunity area which so far includes projects by Foster + Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Allies & Morrison and Kieran Timberlake – who is designing the new US Embassy nearby.

Jonathan Cook, deputy leader of local authority Wandsworth Council said: ‘Just about every major landowner in the Opportunity Areas is now gearing up to redevelop their plot. By the time the process is complete hundreds of acres of industrial and derelict land will have been transformed into new housing, business hubs and shopping districts.

‘We expect as many as 16,000 new homes to be built here and enough commercial space to sustain an extra 25,000 jobs. There will also be new parks, riverside walks, cultural attractions, schools and two new tube stations. There really is no other regeneration zone in the country with the potential to match Nine Elms.’

Jim Moore, major sites team manager at National Grid added: ‘There are huge changes taking place in this part of London and we want to be part of regeneration process.

‘Its early days in the planning process but we’re looking at creating around 800 new homes on the site, plus shops, restaurants, cafés, and leisure spaces at ground floor level to draw people in and bring the development to life.

‘We plan to start decommissioning the gas holders during the summer. Demolition and remediation work could start in 2012.’

In October 2009, a pale-blue 1930s gasholder on the site was granted immunity from listing despite a government report which noted it’s ‘prominence as a local landmark’.

A spokesperson for the project confirmed MAKE were still architects of the scheme and said National Grid would make a decision on whether to launch the search for a development partner this summer.

Drivers Jonas Deloitte is National Grid’s planning consultant and development agent on the project.



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