Another case of blackmail in Battersea

Author: Cyril Richert

According to an article in the Evening Standard before Christmas:

Battersea tower - Evening Standard 18/12/08PLANS to build a 300-metre glass tower next to Battersea Power Station have been scaled back after opposition from campaigners and heritage groups.The tower formed the centrepiece of a £4billion scheme to restore and redevelop the derelict Grade II*-listed generator and the surrounding area.” (click on the article beside to read in full).

The Grade II listed building was bought by Treasury Holdings a few years ago. The developers have said they have taken on board the comments made and scrapped 50 meters of the 300-metre original glass tower. Is it enough? Well, it will still be 250 meters high, making it the tallest building in not only London, but also Great Britain. And the building will still be poking over the Palace of Westminster, listed as a World Heritage Site.

Once again the choice is very simple, according to Rob Tincknell, managing director of Treasury Holdings, presenting the project to Boris Johnson: it is either the go-ahead for the glass tower, or the power station may be doomed.

But as the architecture critic comments in the newspaper: “Is it good to build a new Tube connection to Battersea? Or to build a low energy development? Or to rescue Battersea Power Station from decay? Yes, yes and yes. Is it necessary to build a 250-metre tower to achieve these ends? No“.

The same thing could be applied to Clapham Junction station [1]. The same thing was valid for Putney’s project…

Skyscapers in London - Comparison of sizeClick on the image to see bigger

Why on earth are 4 of the 15 current huge tower block projects submitted in Wandsworth nowadays? Is the Council in favour of pharaonic projects and huge tower blocks? Is the Council making a policy of not spending a penny for public development and financing them all with developer fantasy? Maybe it is time for the Council of Wandsworh to clarify its policy on the issue and ask clearly its constituents their view? Isn’t this what is called democracy?

[1] Apparently, there would be another plan to be submitted to the Council to erect another tower block (about 15 storey?) 50 meters away, in front of PCS, at the bottom of Mossbury Road, for a hotel.

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