The opportunity area of Nine Elms

Author: Brian Barnes
[Battersea Power Station Community Group]

Firstly the Mayor talks about the downturn and the fact that the plans are going to take decades to come. What of the decades that have passed, 26 years since the Battersea Power Station was first planned for redevelopment with the promise of thousands of jobs.

It has been such a long time that the HMSO award winning building has been built, become surplus and now demolished.

In the early 1980s the then chief planning officer Mike Tapsell tried to push through a development brief for thousands of homes in Nine Elms.

Outside Wandsworth Borough, in Lambeth, there are flats built at Vauxhall bridge most are luxury flats and a 40 story 600 feet Green Giant block is proposed.

Otherwise the luxury flats at Chelsea bridge are the only others just coming to completion decades later.

There are a massive 3,700 flats proposed at Battersea Power Station all expensive to justify the renovation of the listed building.

Mayor Boris wants 16,000 but where will they be? Covent Garden has a new plan for a food market with 3 giant towers up to 43 stories but the US embassy will not be residential.

I fear that parks and gardens will be built upon to realise these targets making housing estates in the area even denser. For social housing space will be found on existing estates at Patmore and Doddington and Rollo. Already a primary school (John Milton) has been demolished to make way for flats at the Nine Elms Thessaly Road junction.

There is a proposal for 30 story blocks on the gas works next to the Dogs Home which are shelved until the downturn reverses.

None of the large areas of land have been developed with housing only small strips along the river and above Savona Estate are new build with housing.

Therefore it looks like the only housing planned is on the REO land requiring 12,300 to reach the Mayor’s target.

I hope that there will be shopping recreation and a wide riverside walk to give the new residents facilities there might be need of a school?

Local people are very fed up with the time that things take due mainly to speculators holding land back till such time as they can make huge profits.

It looks set to take nearly half a century from the time the Power Station closed in 1983 for the nine Elms area to be developed.

The tube is a total red hearing and will delay the rejuvenation even longer. I don’t think the Mayor said who would pay for the tube line. It is not REO, not The US embassy, not the offices at Vauxhall. He knows who will not be paying but does he say who will. I suppose it will be the taxpayer which does not include REO or the United States. Even Jane Ellison, Tory candidate for Battersea, has misgivings about funding for the Tube line in the latest edition of “In Touch”

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