London mayor backs Battersea development

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The Independent Online

Developers of London’s derelict Battersea Power Station yesterday got qualified backing from the Mayor of London, who described designs to transform the site into flats, shops and offices, as “encouraging”. Speaking as the plans for the site technically failed a first planning application, Boris Johnson said that he was confident that the plans could become a “masterplan”.

Treasury Holdings, which is the latest group to try and transform the site, was told that its plans do not comply with the “London Plan” which includes, for example, provisions on parking and children’s play areas. However, Mr Johnson said that the redevelopment of the site was important for London. “This key part of the capital is the biggest development opportunity remaining in London and the power station is one of London’s much loved historic landmarks. It is vital that we get the redevelopment of this site right,” he said

“I am encouraged by what I have seen so far and confident that the developer, in partnership with Wandsworth Council can work up these proposals into a high quality masterplan. This will ensure we can deliver on the wider aspirations for the area as set out in the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea planning framework I am developing with Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils.”

While still in at an early stage, the sticking point for the project is likely to be transport links. The Mayor’s office yesterday categorically ruled out any prospect of public funds being used to extend the Northern Line to the site, while the developers are understood to consider the extension of the underground line crucial for the success of the project.

Transport for London confirmed that Treasury Holdings had made no application for state backing, reiterating the need for the group to fund any Northern Line extension privately.

“Feasibility studies have been undertaken by Treasury Holdings in liaison with London Underground to explore opportunities for the Northern line to be extended to Battersea Power Station,” a spokeswoman said. “The developer would need to fund any extension in support of its scheme and there is no provision in the TfL Business Plan to fund any extension.”