The Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) is to apply for a series of amendments to the Rafael Viñoly-masterplanned £8 billion scheme. Plans to extend the Northern Line have also been submitted
The developer behind the high-profile power station project – which was recently purchased by a Malaysian consortium for £400 million – has announced a string of planned changes to the outline consent.
Following the decommissioning of nearby gasholders, BPSDC is seeking to exchange office uses for residential on the south western edge of the site.
Offices will instead be relocated to the development’s north eastern corner while a proposed hotel will be moved from the same corner to a plot fronting Battersea Park Road.
The developer also intends to increase retail on a proposed ‘high street’ leading up to restored Grade II*-listed power station and reduce the number of serviced apartments.
A further amendment is being sought to alter the planning consent for the demolition and rebuilding of the chimneys from a phased programme to a simultaneous one.
BPSDC is already in discussion with English Heritage and local authority Wandsworth Council over the sequencing amendment which the developer argued would ‘speed up the delivery and opening of the restored power station.’
Campaigner Keith Garner of theBattersea Power Station Community Group has criticised the move, claiming a 2005 report he commissioned refutes successive developers’ claims the iconic white towers are beyond repair.
In a letter to English Heritage, he said: ‘Any application by BPSDC to vary the sequence of demolition and rebuilding should be be treated with the greatest scepticism.
‘Why would a commercial company, driven by the profit motive, insist that the chimneys must be demolished and rebuilt when on the available evidence they can be repaired far more cheaply and quickly?
‘There is no doubt in my mind that the only plausible answer to this question is that - whatever BPSDC says - they do not intend to rebuild the chimneys.’
In a statement, English Heritage said:‘English Heritage is currently holding pre-application discussions with the owners of Battersea Power Station, Battersea Power Station Development Company, and Wandsworth Borough Council.
‘Part of the discussions, which have been very constructive, has been around how best to approach the work which must be done to the chimneys andconditions will remain in place to ensure that the celebrated silhouette of this Grade II* power station will remain for generations to come.
‘We look forward to working closely with all interested parties and assisting the progress of plans which will give this great building a secure future and
Transport for London (TfL) has meanwhile applied to the Secretary of State for Transport for planning powers for a £1 billion extension to the Northern Line serving Battersea Power station.
The application marks the start of a six week-long statutory process allowing people and organisations to comment to government on the proposed scheme.
The Transport and Works Act Order, if approved and the project secures funding, will allow TfL to start building in three years and open the two new stations at Battersea and Nine Elms by 2020.
Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: ‘Bringing the Tube to Battersea has long been the ambition of this council and we are now within touching distance. This project is the key to unlocking Nine Elms on the South Bank’s full potential, restoring the power station and delivering 25,000 new jobs and 16,000 new homes.’
Battersea Power Station Development Company comment
Battersea Power Station Development Company is keen that the Power Station is delivered as soon as possible and is in on-going dialogue with the Council and English Heritage on the chimney reconstruction.
mean that it can finally be removed from the Heritage at Risk Register.’