Over the years, the vacant Grade II building that is Battersea Power Station has been redesigned as a cinema, a theatre and a theme park to name but a few.
Despite the public giving the latest plans by Treasury Holdings their full backing, it seems the developers still have a long way to go before these plans become a reality. Originally Treasury had planned for the station to be turned into a 1,000 foot eco-dome but when they failed to get planning approval, they were forced to change their plans. The latest plans, if granted planning approval, would see the 40-acre site in the Vauxhall Battersea Nine Elms Opportunity Arena turned into 3,700 homes, 1.6m sq ft of office space and a hotel.
In December 2009, Treasury held an exhibition and won the full backing of the public. Plans have now been submitted for approval and a decision is expected by the end of the year. But it seems a row over the extension of the Northern Line could threaten its success.
The extension was announced in the London Plan and won the backing of 90% of the visitors at last month’s exhibition by Treasury. The extension is estimated to cost between £460 million and £850 million.
Questions are now being asked about who will be expected to fund the project, with many developers in the area saying they will be unwilling to put their hands into their pockets. It comes after Boris Johnson said local developers would be exempt from the Crossrail Levy if they helped to fund the extension.
Many developers believe they shouldn’t have to pay for the extension because it won’t affect them. In fact, they claim the Crossrail Levy would cost them less than this extension because it’s split between more developers.
It’s thought the one development which would mainly benefit from the extension would be the power station development. The site has decreased in value by as much as 60% since Treasury bought it for £400 million in 2006 and its thought the extension, which would be completed around the same time as the homes are completed, would help to add much-needed value to the project.
As well as this key issue, many are now starting to question whether Treasury will be able to fund the £5.5 billion development of the power station.
Unless both of these issues are resolved in the coming months, it seems like Battersea Power Station could remain vacant for some years to come yet.