Tube stations, hotels, bio-fuel generator and 'London's biggest ballroom' all part of plans
BATTERSEA POWER STATION'S developers have been given the go-ahead to turn the iconic south London structure into thousands of houses and shops.
Thanks to the planning permission now granted to developers REO by Wandsworth Council and assuming Boris Johnson and co. agree, 3,400 homes are to be built at and around the 40-acre site, along with two Tube stations, shopping malls, hotels, a bio-fuel energy generator and what the developers call, intriguingly, "London's biggest ballroom".
The ballroom boast is unlikely to be an idle one, as the dance-hall is to be built in one of Battersea's two giant turbine halls, each of which is as big as the massive entry hall at the Tate Modern.
Although the power station's four chimney's are set to be pulled down – something that worries heritage campaigners – they are to be put up again and used to let steam flow out of the bio-fuel plant.
"This very exciting proposal will be a shot in the arm for Battersea and London," said Councilor Nick Cuff, of Wandsworth Council.
Apart from the London Olympics site in east London, the £5 billion Battersea Power Station re-development will be the biggest building project in the capital and will provide an estimated 15,000 jobs over the ten years of its construction.
Out of that £9 billion, £200M will go towards creating a new section of the Northern Line that is to branch off from Kennington, take in Vauxhall and the new US Embassy being put up there and come to a halt next to the power station.
Dogged by countless delays and multiple changes of ownership, the saga of the power station's revamp stretches back to 1983 when the riverside power unit had its electricity taps turned off.
Nor is the drama all played out. London Mayor Boris Johnson - so far a supporter of the scheme - is next in the planning permission queue, to be followed by the government.
"There is still a great deal of work to be done but this is an important step forward," said Cuff.