Battersea owner in administration

Battersea Power Station was placed in administration yesterday as the owners' creditors seek to recoup £324m of debt.

Following a High Court action by the banks, administrators Ernst & Young will now try to find a new owner for the site which has planning permission for 3,400 homes.

Real Estate Opportunities (REO), which has drawn up the plans for the 15 hectare riverfront site, has more than £500m of debt and has failed to meet repayment deadlines or find an investment partner.

This has triggered a call for the demolition of the London landmark which is listed Grade II*. It is being suggested that the power station's restoration is the reason why redevelopment cannot be viable.

However, architect Sir Terry Farrell has come up with a "third way" plan: retaining only the towering back and front brick walls and the famous chimneys.

The area in between, which now contains a temporary marquee party and events venue, would be roofed over and could be redeveloped at a later stage.

"The control rooms could be kept and clad in glass and we would go to great lengths to keep the parts of historic value," he said.

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