There’s no buying power for the poor in Battersea

The pricing policy will mean that they will make tonnes of money

 

Share

Last night a group of people deemed to be potential buyers of very expensive London flats were treated to a party featuring a gig by Elton John.

I hope they felt privileged. With prices starting at almost £1m for a studio, however, I suspect that the developers may have been exaggerating somewhat when they described it as “a party for the community that we are creating on the site”.

Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive, Rob Tincknell, has been using the word “community” like it’s about to be removed from dictionaries. But his company’s hiring of two very expensive architects, Frank Gehry and Norman Foster, and the prices (which are modestly absent from the official website) suggests that what we about to receive may be nothing to be grateful for.

Ticknell insists that he will offer the properties for sale in London before marketing them elsewhere. This may fool Boris Johnson, but the problem is that the natives won’t be able to compete with wealthy foreigners looking for a place to splash their cash.

Current owners, Malaysian investors Sime Derby, have taken over a planning permission devised by their Irish predecessors containing around 3,500 dwellings. The pricing policy will mean that they will make tonnes of money. So why is Tincknell insisting that his architect-designed minting machine – which will be mainly bought by foreigners who will never live there – will somehow become Ambridge-on-Thames?

He wants clauses built into the contracts of restaurants and other commercial tenants that they will endeavour to hire staff from within the Battersea Power Station “village”. Really? Waiters, cleaners and clerical workers living in £multi-million flats? Oh, and Tinknell hates rival developers’ schemes on the river, where people avoided eye contact and conversation when they bumped into each other and is appalled by the “staggering statistic” that 85 per cent of Londoners do not know their neighbours. Well, Rob, those are statistics for people who actually have neighbours, not empty flats or itinerant tenants. He expects to create his communities by having the open space fully wi-fi’d. And the cavernous lobbies “will encourage informal ‘over the fence’ conversations”.

Send for Les Dawson!

Tragically, the Battersea philosophy of “stack ‘em high and sell ‘em for whatever you can get” is now de rigeur in London. The same idea has infected everything now going up within five miles of Nelson’s Column: Earls Court in Hammersmith, Lots Road in Fulham, Nine Elms in Wandsworth and the entire riverside. With virtually no new homes available for under £1,100 per square foot, we are facing a future where it will be hard to find Londoners in London.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: A widow’s tale with an unexpected twist

John Rentoul
 

For all his faults, Russell Brand is utterly sincere, something politicians should emulate

Janet Street-Porter
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss