One of London’s most important development sites, Battersea Power Station, is finally to be transformed from an empty shell to a new mixed - use project, with plans to be submitted within the next few weeks – but the credit crunch has meant a starkly different look for the London landmark, which once featured on the cover of a Pink Floyd album…
[UKPRwire, Tue Jun 30 2009] One of London’s most important development sites, Battersea Power Station, is finally to be transformed from an empty shell to a new mixed - use project, with plans to be submitted within the next few weeks – but the credit crunch has meant a starkly different look for the London landmark, which once featured on the cover of a Pink Floyd album…
Battersea Power Station, completed in 1939, was the first in a series of very large electrical generating facilities set up in England as part of the nationwide electrical grid system.
Originally, the planned design met with many protests from those who felt the building would be an eyesaw and would damage the environment.
So, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, a noted architect and industrial designer - also famous for the design of the red telephone box and former power station Bankside – was hired to redesign it.
The resulting design was a steel-framed building with brickwork hung from the outside. The building took 10 years to be completed and the original plant had a single long hall with a chimney at either end. From 1953-55 a second identical (from the outside) Station B was constructed right next to the original, which became known as Station A.
This gave the station its familiar four-chimney layout. Far from being an eyesore, the station has since become one of London's most famous landmarks. It is now an empty shell, and a Grade II listed building.
But all that is soon set to change as a planning application for the site – now one of London’s key development sites - is to be submitted within the next few weeks.
In light of the credit crunch, there has been something of a break from the original plans in order to keep costs down. The new design will no longer have an eco dome or chimney – both to save money and to ensure views from the palace of Westminster are not obstructed.
The subject of views is a very topical one at the moment in the light of the Chelsea Barracks planning withdrawal and the Mayor of London’s clamp down on any London developments that could affect views.
As a result, the Battersea Power Station developer, Real Estate Opportunities, will only develop 42.5 per cent of the 15.5 hectare site and will be of a lower-level nature.
The developers have likened the new plans, which will include office and retail space as well as 3,700 homes, to Berlin’s Potzdamer Platz. An ambitious 2,000 seat amphitheatre is no longer included in the redesign.
“The eco dome and chimney were very expensive structures to create and in some ways we were welcoming of the policy and legislation protecting Westminster views as it is saved the scheme quite a lot of money,” said Rob Tincknell, Treasury Holdings UK Managing Director, which owns part of Real Estate Opportunities.
The site will also see a separate re-development of a new station and northern line tube extension from Kennington. Phase one is expected to begin in June 2011.
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