Another attempt at redevelopment kicks off at Battersea Power Station

The site has been disused since 1983

Work has begun on renovation of one of Britain's most recognised - and most neglected - buildings.

Malaysian developers have bought Battersea Power Station, on the south bank of the Thames, in London, aiming to turn it into a prestigious residential and shopping development. Within 10 years they plan to build 3,500 new homes, shops, cafes, restaurants and offices.

Launching the project yesterday with his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "about time" a development for the 39-acre site got off the ground - an allusion to its troubled past of aborted plans.

He told his guest: "This is a great day. It has been a long time to get the Battersea Power Station development going.

"It stopped producing power 30 years ago and it has taken this long to get off the ground. It needed your help."

Mr Najib replied: "It is a shining example of what we can do when we get together.

"We are partners for prosperity."

Famed for its distinctive brick chimneys, the building has featured across popular culture, from the cover of Pink Floyd's "Animals" album to a stint as a factory for turning humans into Cybermen in Doctor Who.

Decommissioned in 1983, the site was bought by Alton Towers creator John Broome. His scheme to build a massive theme park was shelved in March 1989 after it proved too expensive.

The incomplete construction work left the power station without a roof and west wall, leaving it exposed to the elements.

In 1993 Hong Kong-based development company Parkview International acquired the freehold, proposing a residential project. It secured full possession of the site in 2003 but claimed the redevelopment should be handled by a publicly listed company to ensure transparency.

Irish firm Real Estate Opportunities (REO) bought the site for £400m in 2006, with plans not dissimilar to those put in motion this week. They had to call in creditors because of excessive debts.

Chelsea Football Club submitted a bid to build a stadium at the power station, which came to nothing, before the Malaysian investors were chosen as the preferred bidder last year.

The chimneys and art deco design are being protected by its Grade II listed status, and a new Tube station will also be built.

Also at the ceremony, London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Many thought it would never happen but today is a triumphant moment in Battersea Power Station's rebirth as well as a glowing testimony to London's attractiveness for global investors.

"Once the generator of megawatts, this iconic building's revamp is now sparking the wider rejuvenation of a once neglected part of London into a vibrant new quarter. "Thanks to a multibillion pound public and private investment, which will include a brand new extension to the northern line, the transformation of this area is set to support tens of thousands of jobs and homes for the capital."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam