PRESS RELEASE: The plan by REO is all bad
8th November 2010
If it were ever built, the Power station would be obscured by massive blocks of luxury flats and hotels. The Power Station will be altered with changes that will spoil the Grade 2* listed building with windows in the side walls, 1950s control room dismantled, new false ceilings in the main turbine hall, pods for penthouses covering the roofs and chimneys demolished and replaced by replicas (as if). Out of 3700 flats, only about 500 to be part buy/part let (so called “affordable”). The Grade 2 listed Battersea Water Pumping Station will be destroyed completely "in the public’s interest". Any gain of public open space is unusable as it will be lakes and moats to reflect views of Power Station, as if there isn't enough water with the Thames flowing past.
Councillors Govindia and Lister have already indicated that the plan will be approved.
The most important thing to consider is the imminent bankruptcy of REO with their shares worthless at £2.99 pence each and the toxic bank of Ireland NAMA becoming insistent on the repayment of loans and their directive not to pay out dividends to shareholders like Victor Wang the previous owner. The talk of a partner in a sovereign wealth fund pension fund or Sultan of Brunei must all be taken as unlikely. REO’s offer of £200million towards the tube line and stations, which will only serve their development, has 2 problems: 1) the tube will cost £4 billion, 2) no one else wants to fund it as it goes nowhere!
Developers including REO have many ways of getting around conditions that supposedly protect the building. One seemingly insurmountable condition is that which demands the Tube line and 2 stations are built before the development goes ahead. Before the Tube is built it will be OK for the Battersea Power Station chimneys to be demolished. This is a key factor to demolish the entire building by stealth and then sell the site with a planning permission that may end up with all the Power Station being demolished in the future under a new owner. If you doubt me look at their land holding around the Power Station everything that was permitted to be demolished has been destroyed and the Power station is the last obstacle to a massive profit with luxury flats next to the Thames in place of the Power Station.
The report is over 300 pages and this is a brief reading of it. There will be lots that are a source of worry that I have not picked up. We have sent the report to a planning lawyer to get an opinion.
Brian Barnes MBE Chair of Battersea Power Station Community Group
Tel: 020 7627 5821
Posted on 8th November 2010
© Battersea Power Station Community Group 2009