Who is really living in the luxury developments of Nine Elms?

Author: Cyril Richert


Nine Elms typical luxury developments

Nine Elms developers are struggling to find buyers, reported a recent article from The Telegraph. According to the newspaper, the first residential tower (to be completed by 2023) at the centre of the One Thames City development has sold less than 7% of its units (fewer than 90 flats) in its first year of marketing. Even worse, according to the newspaper, more than half of those flats have reportedly been sold to employees or friends of the developers, or other related parties. Continue reading

Northern Line extension good for luxury developments but not good enough for ‘standard’ Wandsworth residents

Author: Cyril Richert


Northern Line extension – Credit: TfL

As it made national news, you won’t have missed that, for the first time since 2008 with Wood Lane and Heathrow Terminal 5 stations and the Jubilee Line extension in 1999, two new underground stations have been unveiled (commentators often forget that the tube map changed also less than 10 years ago with the overground line, part of the Tube network). This is not as extraordinary as many supporters are claiming, but it will definitely help a lot of people living south of the river, and boost the new area of Nine Elms.

However, it stops short of finishing at Clapham Junction and many local residents wonder why the 3km project between Kennington and Battersea Power station did not make the extra distance (another 3km) to reach the heart of Battersea and benefit existing local residents. Continue reading

With Chinese property developers on the verge of collapse, Nine Elms could become Wandsworth’s nightmare

Author: Cyril Richert


Will Nine Elms Square be delivered? – Image: Langan.com

In recent days, analysts have been focused on the Chinese property market: it has been revealed a few days ago that the Chinese Property giant Evergrande was sinking under £215bn of debts and has missed at least two payments to its largest creditors.

With fears of bankruptcy, the company announced in September 22nd that they agreed to pay interests on a small part of their liabilities. But with the Chinese property market plunging into turmoil over the difficulties of Evergrande, there has been fears of contagion that could hit London and have dramatic consequences in Nine Elms. Continue reading

Luxury flats replaced by offices as demand plummets in Battersea

Author: Cyril Richert

BatterseaPowerStation_movie5The Malaysian developers of Battersea power station are preparing to replace planned apartments with as much as 1 million sq ft of extra office space, following a slump in the market for luxury homes“, announced the FT on February 24th. It means twice the size of the Gherkin tower in central London. However there are questions raised as the Brexit perspective and the consolidation in the insurance industry is already reducing the need for office space in the City. Continue reading

BBC expose Wandsworth Council allowing a developer to drop all office space from development

Author: Cyril Richert

_One_Nine_Elms__by_CIT_and_Green_Properties_webYesterday night, BBC News (10pm) showed a report from Political Editor Tim Donovan (3’08”) about the permission given to a Chinese developer to double the size of a new luxury hotel in Nine Elms at the expense of office space and the associated jobs.

Developer Dalian Wanda has dropped all 10,000 sqm of office space from its planned riverside development at One Nine Elms in Vauxhall, along with his promise of nearly a thousand new jobs. The space has been replaced by more luxury hotel rooms and private apartments.

The report says that Wandsworth planning documents reveal it will mean at least 400 fewer jobs – nearly half those originally intended – being brought to an economic “opportunity area”. Continue reading

Consultation: Has Wandsworth any protected views?

Author: Cyril Richert

The Council is asking now people to comment on the draft document for local views within the borough. This document aims at defining the different types of view that have some local significance and deserve protection within the borough.

We have doubts on the values of the document as most of it is focused on Nine Elms and the Battersea Power Station, and those views are going to change (as acknowledged in the document). There is no mention at all of Clapham Junction and the views within the Conservation Area (no need to be protected anymore?). Continue reading

A roller coaster for Battersea Power station?

Author: Cyril Richert

Paris-based practice atelier Zundel Cristea (AZC) has won the competition (results announced mid-March 2013) to transform the Battersea power station into a museum. The proposal is based on the Parisian Cité de l’Architecture model, and will present a panorama of architecture and cultural heritage from the Middle Ages to today.

The most notable feature of the project is the integration of a giant roller coaster in the 40,000 sqm of the site, providing a new perspective to the area and the city of London. Continue reading

Nine Elms: some pictures of the project

Author: Cyril Richert

To complete our previous article on the final project in Nine Elms last July and the schemes around the Battersea Power station, I have collected some screen-shot from the movie displayed on the official website to present the project of redevelopment (click on the photos to see bigger).

You can read also comments on the video on Cllr James Cousins’ blog.

In a recent article published by the Wandsworth Guardian, the Mayor of London said that plans to redevelop Battersea Power Station have met with the broad approval, but the scheme needs to offer more affordable housing. Boris Johnson told Real Estate Opportunities (REO), which owns the iconic station site, said the scheme did not comply with the London Plan and he expects the “maximum reasonable amount” of affordable housing.

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”