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Pumping up support for Battersea heritage

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You report CABE's criticisms of Parkview's scheme for a 700bed hotel to the east of Battersea Power Station (AJ 22.2.01) However, the most serious shortcoming of the design was not mentioned. This is that it requires the demolition of the Grade II-listed Battersea Water Pumping Station.

The pumping station was built by the Southwark Water Company in 1846, and is of considerable architectural and archaeological interest.

Parkview was given listed building consent to demolish the pumping station in 1997; a decision widely criticised.

The London Advisory Committee of English Heritage meets to consider the hotel tomorrow (2 March). Battersea Power Station Community Group and a number of other local groups are lobbying EH to see that the hotel is redesigned to incorporate the station.

It could easily be incorporated in the wider redevelopment project. However, if Parkview doesn't want the pumping station (and it seems it doesn't) it should be transferred to a trust that would raise the money to effect the conversion.

Transfer of the pumping station to a trust would be in accordance with government policy on the historic environment, as set out in PPG15, and should have been considered in the first place.

Battersea Power Station Community Group has offered to set up a community trust, if Parkview surrenders the pumping station. Failing this, EH should consider using its powers to acquire the building.

Keith Garner, London SW11

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